ANGELES CITY – Converge FiberXers’ quarterfinals match in the Commissioner’s Cup against a formidable San Miguel Beermen will be a defining moment for a team that has proven early its place in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Team Governor Chito Salud said the FiberXers, now at 4th spot at 8-4 card and a notch higher than the Beermen at 7-5, have prepared for an anticipated tough best-of-3 match. Converge defeated the San Miguel franchise, 106-102 last October 21.
Since then, the Beermen now has Junemar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo back in the fold. They barely made it through the eliminations with the 6-time MVP on injury list for a month.
“This is what our team has been playing for – that moment when we can define ourselves, our very character as a team in the minds of PBA fans and become part of the rich history of PBA heroism and triumphs,” Salud said in a text message to this writer.
“Preparations and spirit cannot be higher,” he added.
With strong showing towards the end of eliminations with seven consecutive wins – the most in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup, the FiberXers made themselves a force to reckon with, for a tussle with the daunting Beermen.
They almost made it to a second place with a twice-to-beat advantage, until they suffered a setback against NorthPort with import Quincy Miller being sidelined for a disciplinary action. They also lost to crowd favorite Ginebra San Miguel, sporting 9-4 card into the quarters.
“Tignan natin. Masusubukan ang mga bata,” Salud added as the team found chemistry with sharp shooting guards Aljon Melecio and RK Ilagan, and precise quarterbacking by Jeron Teng, Maverick Ahanmisi and Alec Stockton. They also boast of worthy rookie centers Justin Arana and Jeo Ahambot. Veteran slotman Abu Tratter also gets support from Kevin Racal who can also shoot from the perimeter.
Coach Aldin Ayo is credited for harnessing the talent of young and old team members, making them impressive with wins over powerhouse teams like TnT Tropang Giga and Meralco Bolts.
Aside from sending a message across that they belong to the league, the FiberXers now also have a growing fan base, with the pure end-to-end fiber internet provider now increasing coverage of households in LuzViMin areas.