Converge sustained its hot start to the conference, extending its winning run four straight games after a 112-98 romp of Rain or Shine in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Jamaal Franklin was at the forefront of the attack, scattering a triple-double line of 25 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists and without a single turnover – the first of any player in Converge’s uniform – to lead the FiberXers to the convincing win and take the early solo lead in the standing.
His output in assists was also a franchise best of any player in Converge with big man Justin Arana, who also finished with 21 points, being the recipient of most of those passes from the former NBA player.
Jeron Teng also made a good account of himself with 17 points while Jerrick Balanza and Abu Tratter added 11 and 10, respectively.
Rain or Shine actually hung tough and kept themselves within striking distance before Converge uncorked a 13-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters which turned a 75-67 lead for the FiberXers into a 19-point advantage 88-69 early in the final frame.
The Elasto Painters tried to ignite some rally in the final frame but the FiberXers simply had answers to every run and even extended the lead to its highest at 20, 107-87, late in the contest.
Michael Qualls led Rain or Shine with 34 points and nine rebounds but was not enough to lift his team which was without head coach Yeng Guiao in the final frame after getting tossed out of the ball game with 1:16 left in the third for his second technical foul due to use of profane language.
Rey Nambatac was the only other player in twin digits in scoring with 16 as the Elasto Painters absorbed their third straight defeat in as many games.