CHICAGO -- It was like a scene from the Netflix hit Stranger Things where your eyes struggled to believe what the hell you just saw.
But what happened was real.
Converge, a newbie franchise still learning to walk in the PBA, just ran over TNT, 130-117.
TaNT, the flagship franchise of the MVP group, got embarrassed tonight in an arena named after its corporate parent - the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Although the final score appears deceptively respectable, don't be fooled. This one was as one-sided as the Titanic versus the iceberg.
The FiberXers led by as many as 35 points, scored 43 in the opening quarter and finished the half with 73. The bloodbath continued with 40 more in the third quarter before Converge, leading 116-85 entering the fourth stanza, mercifully laid down their weapons.
The powerhouse Tropang Giga played with their highly-paid stars - Mikey Williams, Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro and import Cam Oliver.
IT DIDN'T MATTER. NOT WHEN THEY GAVE UP POINTS LIKE CANDIES ON HALLOWEEN.
The FiberXers shot 49 of 91 from the field (53 percent) and 21 of 40 from 3 (52 percent). They also outrebounded TNT, 57-35, while handily winning the assists battle 34-20.
I don't know what type of cell phone Converge head coach Aldin Ayo uses but it sure has TNT coach Chot Reyes' number.
Ayo rolled out a balanced offense (five guys in double figures led by import Quincy Miller's 36 points) and a biting defense that held TNT to just 12-of-34 from 3 (35 percent).
After he was officially named Converge head coach last August 22, three active PBA coaches told me that Aldin would do "good" in the pro ranks.
They're all wrong.
Ayo is great.
At 4-2 in the standings, Converge has a better record than TNT, San Miguel and Ginebra, teams that have at least three times the budget plus an overflow of max players.
And that's not all on Ayo. His creative game-planning and ability to maximize the potential of the manpower on his roster makes him stand out.
Can you imagine Aldin Ayo coaching a team loaded with talent and armed with a budget that can buy a brewery?
The possibilities are endless.
TERRAFIRMA DOES IT AGAIN. The sad, sorry franchise continued to desecrate the game of basketball, this time bowing to Ginebra, 111-90, in yet another listless effort.
Watching Terrafirma play is visual abuse, but there's a silver lining.
With their 23rd straight defeat, the Dyip are now in a great position to eclipse Blackwater's record of 29 consecutive losses.
Way to go, Terrafirma!
IT'S ALL OK. The Play It Forward campaign was launched last week, an endeavor aimed at reaching "more grassroots individuals" who can develop "sports-driven values for the youth."
Three elementary schools - Marcela Agoncillo, Rajah Solaiman and Pedro Guevarra - have been picked as the pilot beneficiaries of the program.
Kudos to OKBet for this wonderful initiative.