Justin Arana plays hero as Converge mounts big comeback to beat ROS

Published November 13, 2022, 9:52 PM

by Reynald I. Magallon

Justin Arana made the go-ahead basket as Converge climbed back from a 17-point hole to frustrate Rain or Shine, 102-101, and extend its winning streak to seven in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Converge big man Justin Arana makes the go-ahead short stab to frustrate Rain or Shine. (PBA Images)

Arana scored on a short stab off an inbound play with 15 seconds left to shove the FiberXers ahead and cap the huge fourth quarter storm that saw his team explode for 33 points while limiting the Elasto Painters to just 17.

That completed the comeback for Converge which now got a share of the second spot in the standings with the Bay Area Dragons with identical 8-2 records.

Arana dropped six of his 16 points in the final frame including the big hit down the stretch while Jeron Teng and RK Ilagan combined for 14 of the team’s fourth quarter output to finish with 20 and 16 points, respectively.

Quincy Miller was not as productive as the last game when he scored 46 points, finishing with 19 points apart from 20 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks.

The FiberXers trailed for the most part of the game as the Elasto Painters gave them a dose of their own medicine with transition attacks anchored on the young legs of Gian Mamuyac, Anton Asistio and Andrei Caracut.

Rain or Shine even went on a strong finishing kick to end the third frame with a comfortable 89-64 advantage. Back-to-back hits from Rey Nambatac and Beau Belga built the biggest lead at 17, 88-7, before the FiberXers responded with an 11-3 spurt to bring the deficit back to single digit.

Converge, refusing to go down, unleashed a telling 18-5 run to steal the game at the end, spoiling the huge bounce back game from Ryan Pearson who finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Mamuyac added 24.