MANILA, Philippines – As the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals get underway at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday, fans may anticipate a fierce clash between San Miguel Beer and Converge.
In jeopardy in the 3 p.m. win, which should be an important factor if the best-of-three matchup between the fifth-seeded Beermen and the fourth-ranked FiberXers extends on, and some observers even believe the series will go the entire distance.
Devon Scott, an SMB import with his own personal agenda, predicted that there would be a fight.
Converge appears to be the underdog at first appearance because it dropped its final two games in the elimination round after a seven-game winning streak. With its suffocating pressure defense and fast-paced game, though, it still remains quite effective.
The FiberXers defeated the Beermen last October 21 in their lone elimination round matchup, 106 to 102. During that game, the FiberXers led the Beermen by as much as 17 points until the Beermen came back from a 95 to 100 deficit by holding the defending champion to just one field goal in the final 4:36 of the game.
Jorge Gallent, an assistant coach for SMB, vowed, “We will review a lot of tapes and watch what went wrong with the loss and we will find methods to get better at it.”
With June Mar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo returning, both of whom are now healthy enough to play, and even helping the Beermen finish a four-game sweep of their most recent elimination assignments, the squad has unquestionably improved since that game.
Gallent and Scott are aware that the team they have at the moment is very different from the one that fell short against Converge.
Gallent said, “At that time we didn’t have June Mar,” a valued center who has subsequently made a comeback since Nov. 23 after missing that contest and six others due to surgery for a throat injury sustained during a 113 to 105 victory against Rain or Shine on October 9.
With June Mar on the team, Gallent continued, “I believe we have a good opportunity of playing better because we have someone who can help us with the boards, score, and have a presence inside the paint.
Scott, who entered the game as a substitute and played his first PBA game against Converge, likewise hopes to improve upon his debut performance, which saw him finish with 16 points, 15.
Scott added, “I take a lot of responsibility for why we lost that game. I’ve stated that I was sort of trying to figure it out because it was my first game with the team and my first game in the PBA, but I now have more PBA games (with SMB) under my belt.
Recap of October 21, 2022 Scuffle between SMB and Converge
Converge avoided a fourth-quarter meltdown and defeated San Miguel 106-102 in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday, October 21 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig. San Miguel was sporting a new import.
With 24 points, 16 rebounds, 9 blocks, and 3 steals, Quincy Miller outperformed Beermen reinforcement Devon Scott in his NBA debut to lead the FiberXers to their second consecutive victory and a 3-2 record.
Aljun Melecio, a recent Converge addition, also contributed with 18 points and 7 assists, the majority of which came during the game-winning 11-0 run that cut a late five-point San Miguel lead in half.
Melecio started the run with a baseline jumper to make the score 97-100 before dishing out three assists in a row to Mike DiGregorio, Justin Arana, and Miller to give his team a 104-100 lead.