Converge prevails

After pointers from former Philippine Basketball Association import Renaldo Balkman about Philippine basketball, National Basketball Association veteran Quincy Miller hardly had any trouble adjusting to the league’s physical game.

“Renaldo Balkman is one of the guys who told me about Philippine basketball and a couple more guys told me about the physicality, so I kinda have an idea and that prepared me very well,” Miller told the Daily Tribune in an exclusive interview.

“It’s fun, I like it and it’s very physical,” Miller said, admitting that Balkman, who played for San Miguel a few years ago, was on point.

Miller didn’t back down from the pushing and shoving as he pumped in 38 points, pulled down 16 rebounds, picked up seven steals and blocked five shots and his all-around game allowed the Converge FiberXers to score a 124-110 triumph over the Terrafirma Dyip for a rousing start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, which returned for the first time in years at the Philsports Arena.

A player who saw action for three NBA teams — Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons — Miller was more conscious getting the rebounds as it really set the tone of his game.

In fact, Miller even went back to the Press Room to check how many rebounds he was able to grab.

“It helped bring out my game a lot,” added Miller. “Game becomes so easy for me.”

But Miller wasn’t a one man show for Converge, which quickly rewarded new head coach Aldin Ayo a victory in his debut.

The FiberXers, the No.1 team in the Philippine Cup in bench scoring average (52.4 ppg), had a total of 60 points.

Maverick Ahanmisi finished with 18 points and seven assists, while rookie Justin Arana came away with 13 points and seven rebounds.

First Game:
Converge (124) — Miller 38, Ahanmisi 18, Arana 13, Ilagan 12, Stockton 11, Teng 11, Melecio 10, Bulanadi 4, Racal 3, Tratter 2, Digregorio 2, Ambohot 0.

Terrafirma (110) — Prosper 43, Munzon 14, Tiongson 13, Cabagnot 13, Cahilig 7, De Liano 7, Calvo 5, Camson 4, Alolino 2, Ramos 2, Gabyni 0, Mina 0.

Quarters: 26-30; 62-62; 93-79; 124-110.

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