Aldin Ayo began his PBA coaching career in a rousing fashion as Converge tore apart Terrafirma, 124-110, in the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, Friday, Sept. 23.
The FiberXers pulled away from the tight offensive showdown against Dyip in the third quarter, unleashing a blistering 22-6 rally that all but broke Terrafirma’s backs and spoiled a 43-point explosion from returning import Lester Prosper.
Seven players scored in double-digits for Converge led by Quincy Miller who proved to be as good as advertised, dropping 16 of his 38 points in the payoff period, which also went 16 rebounds and five assists while Maverick Ahanmisi provided support with 18 points and seven dimes.
Justin Arana and RK Ilagan chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Alec Stockton, who was one of the catalysts of that third quarter breakaway, also finished with 11 points. Jeron Teng and Aljun Melecio were the other double-digit scorers with 11 and 10.
“We started flat, especially in the first quarter. We’re getting our shot but we’re not just making those shots. I told them those were good shots and they were executing also. It's just that, it’s all about finishing those,” said Ayo.
“First games have always been the hardest, you don’t have any idea and you don't know what to expect so for us we just step on the pedal and (go) full speed ahead. We just have to keep on running but of course we have to make shots. We got a lot of open shots, we just have to converge those,” he added.
Despite the early struggles, the FiberXers managed to engage the Dyip to a high scoring affair in the first half with Miller, Arana and Ahanmisi holding the fort against Prosper who threw his weight around inside the paint for a 26-point first half output.
Miller and Ahanmisi then connived with Stockton and Melecio in the third quarter that saw the FiberXers explode for 36 points while also limiting the Prosper and the Dyip to just 17. With the game tied 67-all, Ahanmisi sparked the run with a swift five-straight points the rest of Converge players followed suit.
Alex Cabagnot, who finally returned from an injury, tried to pump some life to Terrafirma with 13 points in the fourth but was not enough to spare the Dyip from absorbing their 12th straight loss.