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    San Miguel deals Converge a deflating loss in playoffs opener

    Dec 7, 2022
    CJ Perez
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    SAN Miguel went on a first-half rampage to overwhelm Converge, 114-96, on Wednesday in Game One of their PBA 47th Season Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal playoff at the Philsports Arena.

    The fifth-seed Beermen made their playoff experience count against the young FiberXers side, taking leads as high as 31 points to move one win away from advancing to the semifinals.

    San Miguel also kept Converge from waxing got from the perimeter. The league's top three-point shooting team in the eliminations ended up missing all of its 19 shots from the outside.

    The Beermen, the de facto defending champions after winning the 2019 crown, can close the series in Game Two on Saturday at the Philsports Arena.

    “I think our players played good defense,” said San Miguel assistant coach Jorge Gallent, who is now 5-0 since taking over the reins after head coach Leo Austria was placed under the league's health protocols.

    “We practiced hard for two days and we really prepared for their three-point shooting and running game. I commend them. They did what’s right and all of what we wanted them to do, that’s why we got the win today.”

    CJ Perez, Devon Scott, and June Mar Fajardo helped San Miguel to finish off Converge after the fourth seeds came to within 11 points midway through the fourth quarter.

    Perez scored 25 points including seven in the final period to put the game away. Scott had 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Fajardo posted 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Beermen, who took an 80-49 lead in the third quarter.


    Quincy Miller finished with 41 points and 13 rebounds, but was limited to 0-for-7 from threes in the first half where the FiberXers trailed, 55-32.

    Terrence Romeo also had an excellent outing in his first playoff game since recovering from a back injury as he had 13 points, while Simon Enciso had eight points and a career-high 10 assists before being ejected for his second technical foul early in the fourth.

    Justin Arana was one of only three Converge players in double figures as he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

    The scores:

    San Miguel 114 – Perez 25, Scott 23, Fajardo 19, Romeo 13, Lassiter 11, Enciso 8, Tautuaa 6, Ross 5, Cruz 4, Brondial 0.

    Converge 96 – Miller 41, Arana 11, Melecio 11, Tratter 10, Ahanmisi 7, DiGregorio 5, Teng 5, Ilagan 4, Stockton 2, Bulanadi 0, Tolomia 0, Racal 0, Ambohot 0.

    Quarters: 21-13; 55-32; 88-65; 114-96.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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