Converge, Magnolia triumph in Philippine Cup

CONVERGE escaped with a 92-90 win over Blackwater behind rookie Justin Arana’s splendid showing to remain alive for a playoff spot in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

Arana cruised down the middle to score the go-ahead basket, breaking a 90-all tie with 8.4 ticks left.

Barkley Eboña blew Blackwater’s opportunity to tie the game after missing a wide open layup, allowing the FiberXers to end their eliminations campaign with a 5-6 won-lost card. 

“We have been lucky and sometimes, it’s good to be lucky I guess. We made it clear what we’re playing for and that was given us the drive to give our best shot,” Converge coach Jeffrey Cariaso said. “That motivated us even more.”

Maverick Ahanmisi had 18 points and dished out seven assists while Arana had 13 points and Abu Tratter finished with 10 points. 

Blackwater suffered its fourth straight loss for a 5-5 record.

Top pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser tallied 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Bossing.

Magnolia leaned on Jio Jalalon’s triple-double of 16 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds on top of four steals to rout Rain or Shine, 118-87, also on Wednesday.

The victory extended the Hotshots’ winning streak to six and for a 7-3 card.

The Elasto Painters’ bid for playoff berth finally ended with a 4-7 record.