PBA Primer: Converge Faces Litmus Test in TNT

Coming off a big win, the playoff-chasing FiberXers are in for a litmus test against the Tropang Giga.

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PBA Friday Games (October 28, 2022)

Venue: Smart Araneta Coliseum

First Game: Converge FiberXers versus TNT Tropang Giga (3:00 PM)

Second Game: Terrafirma Dyip versus Barangay Ginebra (5:45 PM)

How will Converge’s offense fare against TNT’s Defense?

Converge FiberXersTNT Tropang Giga
Offensive Rating111.3 (2nd)111.0 (4th)
Defensive Rating108.3 (9th)101.3 (3rd)
Pace81.0 (2nd)80.0 (4th)
Standing3-2 (T-3rd)3-2 (T-3rd)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 10/27/2022)

Previous Games: Converge won against San Miguel Beermen, 106-102; TNT won against Blackwater Bossing, 108-98

Aljun Melecio stole the show during Converge’s huge win over SMB, as he mixed up the bag with his outside shooting, strong downhill attacks, and on-point passes. Melecio hasn’t been as inconsistent as the team wants him to be, but a performance like that against a perennial team shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Speaking of consistency, FiberXers combo guard Maverick Ahanmisi is exemplifying that to a great extent. With his tremendous work on both ends of the floor, it’s not a coincidence that he’s averaging the most minutes among Converge’s locals. Easily the most consistent Converge player outside of import Quincy Miller, Ahanmisi is averaging all-around numbers of 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.6 steals this conference. He makes smart decisions with the ball, steadies the ship in clutch moments, and plays great defense.

As a team, the FiberXers’ offense is still humming to a good tune (second-best offensive rating), but they’ll be going up against a Tropang Giga defense that’s almost always at the top half of the league (third-best defensive rating this conference). Converge and TNT both hold identical records (3-2), so this will be an all-in battle to get out of the middle pack of the standings.

Ginebra Fine-tunes offense against terrafirma

Terrafirma DyipBarangay Ginebra
Offensive Rating96.8 (13th)106.1 (8th)
Defensive Rating115.8 (13th)105.7 (6th)
Pace78.9 (6th)74.9 (12th)
Standing0-6 (13th)3-2 (T-3rd)
*Stats per RealGM (as of 10/27/2022)

Previous Games: Terrafirma lost to Bay Area Dragons, 130-76; Ginebra won against Magnolia Hotshots, 103-97

Coming off a Manila Clasico win, Ginebra will face a hapless Terrafirma squad that ranks dead last in both offensive rating and defensive rating. Of course, the rule of thumb is to never take an opponent lightly, but this is an opportunity for the Gin Kings to spice things up a little.

Could we see extended playing time for Jeremiah Gray and Von Pessumal? Both of those guys have yet to turn in good scoring games. We’re approaching the second half of the eliminations, and the playoffs is just around the corner. Even though Ginebra already has a solid rotation that might tighten up even more in the playoffs, it doesn’t hurt to get Gray and Pessumal going and add more depth.

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