Schonny Winston is given a two-year deal by Converge while Marc Pingris is negotiating with Blackwater to return to the PBA

Oct 2, 2023

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Prior to the PBA Season 48, Schonny Winston officially joined Converge by signing a two-year contract.

Winston, selected No. 9 overall by the FiberXers, and the team reached an agreement on certain issues, according to team manager Jacob Lao.

The signing was also revealed by the team on Facebook.

Winston was a strong contender to win the UAAP MVP award last year before injuries, averaging 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.1 steals sidelined him in his final season with the La Salle Green Archers.

Winston was a top pick in a few mock drafts, but the former Central Michigan University athlete is unconcerned.

Winston expressed his eagerness to participate, particularly following his preparations and his recuperation from a calf injury.

“I was back in the States, finishing my rehab. Then, after finishing rehab, just getting my body back up to shape and performance to go out and compete again… I’m no longer hurt. I’m ready to compete. I’m ready to play now,” Winston remarked.

On the other hand, owner of the Blackwater club Dioceldo Sy is now in a difficult situation.

After first considering hiring Marc Pingris as the big men’s coach, Sy is now considering granting the PBA star a berth on the Bossing’s roster for the upcoming 48th season of the professional league.

After Sy and Blackwater Coach Jeff Cariaso spoke with the 41-year-old Pingris, the idea struck them.

The nine-time PBA champion and 15-time All-Star played for the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) team, either with Purefoods or San Miguel Beer, for most of his professional career.

However, he really developed as a player while playing for B-Meg/Purefoods/Star, as he contributed to the squad’s improbable grand slam in 2014 while playing for former coach Tim Cone.

The so-called Pinoy Sakuragi, Pingris, is currently competing for Imus in the MPBL and looks to be in excellent condition. Pingris retired from the PBA in 2021 due to a recurring back problem.

The start of the league’s new season is not until Nov. 5, giving Pingris plenty of time to prepare for a comeback, if he so chooses.

Having Pingris take over as the big men’s coach was actually Cariaso’s suggestion, especially with the Bossing boasting youthful bigs like Ato Ular and newcomers Christian David and Clifford Jopia.

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