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Converge tanking? 'That's unfair,' says Aldin Ayo

Converge's efforts finally paid off after a 0-6 start. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Converge head coach Aldin Ayo vehemently denied accusations that his team is deliberately losing games in the PBA Commissioner's Cup and that their defeats to open the conference were just too tough.

Fans were puzzled when the FiberXers, who were in contention of making at least the semifinals of the traditionally mid-season conference last year following a seven-game winning streak, suddenly flunked to a 0-6 start.

PBA legend and now online show host Gerry Esplana further fueled the speculations when he, citing a source, claimed that the FiberXers plan to take Balti Baltazar early into the 2024 draft and said that Baltazar's previous statement that he wants to stay put with reigning PSL and MPBL champions Pampanga Giant Lanterns is just a ploy due to the uncertainties if Converge ends up with the number one pick.

According to Ayo, the said speculations are unfair to them.

"I think that's unfair because malupit ang pinagdadaanan namin," he said on Wednesday night after Converge's game against Terrafirma at the PhilSports Arena.

Ayo then recalled the FiberXers' games against the TNT Tropang Giga, Phoenix Fuel Masters, and Barangay Ginebra, which for him could have gone either way.

"Talk 'n Text, [nag-]overtime, Phoenix, [natalo sa] game-winner, Ginebra, may mga nag-cramps. Pinipiga namin," Ayo continued.

He also said that Converge's practices have been intense, further debunking the speculations that they have been too lax enough to say they are indeed "tanking".

"Grabe kaming mag-practice. That's why these guys deserve to play well, and I've been telling the team that we deserve to win," Ayo further said.

The FiberXers finally barged into the win column on Wednesday night at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig, but the victory came at the expense of the Dyip, who had six of the last seven number-one picks including those chosen in the special Gilas rounds within the last five PBA Drafts dating back to 2018.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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