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Even after fifth straight win, Ayo not calling his team contenders yet

Even after fifth straight win, Ayo not calling his team contenders yet

Aljun Melecio Converge PBA

Guard converge Aljun Melecio. PBA PICTURES

ANTIPOLO CITY—Having bagged a fifth straight win in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioners Cup, Converge should have certainly earned their place among the title favorites.

FiberXers coach Aldin Ayo was quick to dismiss the idea.

“It’s too early to tell,” Ayo said Saturday night after Converge dismantled NLEX, 108-84, at the Ynares Center here. “We are still in eliminations. Five straight wins, yes, but some of our opponents weren’t complete.

“[Meralco] was without Chris Newsome. San Miguel, Mar Jun (Fajardo). So it’s not like we can really count those as wins. These teams were understaffed and we still have a long way to go,” he said.

Ayo was factually correct. But the numbers tell a different story.

Converge now has six wins against two losses, tied with the Bay Area powerhouse for second. The Dragons were the last team to beat the FiberXers — and barely after Ayo’s guards battled deep holes to make it a play in the stretch — before their current run.

And Converge didn’t have it easy against NLEX. The FiberXers resisted the early exit of import Quincy Miller and continued to play confidently behind the leadership of Aljun Melecio and fellow youngsters Justin Arana and Jeo Ambohot.

Miller was sent off in the first half for profane language.

Melecio reset his career-best result for the third time this conference with 24 points while providing six assists. Jeron Teng had 14 points while Arana had 12. Ambohot added seven points with 12 rebounds.

“[W]We really have to give the players credit… They’re executing and playing well,” said Ayo, whose team faces idle Phoenix, who is also on a five-game streak, next week.

“I ask the team since we won back to back: confidence or complacency? We are confident but at the same time we know what our opponents are capable of,” said Ayo. “We will be ready.”

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