Converging FiberXers, NLEX Road Warriors into a flyer

Converging FiberXers, NLEX Road Warriors into a flyer

After one week and six play dates in the season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup, early leaders have emerged as the defending champions are still resting on their laurels after capturing the Commissioner’s Cup.

ESPN’s Sid Ventura ranks all 12 teams after the first week of action.


It was an eventful and satisfying Week 1 for the FiberXers, who swept all their matches to take the early lead in the standings. After blowing out Blackwater Bossing and Terrafirma Dyip, they nearly fell to 2-1 after a resounding 111-109 win over the Magnolia Hotshots. Import Jamaal Franklin, who replaced Ethan Rusbatch after just one game, is proving the coaches made the right decision in signing him as he has averaged 34.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists.

Next: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (February 2)


Barangay are still on a break after winning the Commissioner’s Cup just two weeks ago, but it seems apt to place them in second place given their fine form last conference and the fact that they are the defending champions. There’s no reason to think they aren’t favorites to repeat. They would have taken over the top spot had it not been for Converge’s impressive run.

Next: Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (February 5)


Jonathon Simmons may not be around much anymore, but so far he’s made the most of his PBA stint. The NBA veteran will likely only last four games for the Road Warriors while being lured back to China, and NLEX hopes he can continue to give them a clean sheet until he leaves. In two games so far, Simmons is averaging 32.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Meanwhile, Kevin Alas has been shooting lights out, averaging 24.5ppg on 63% FG shooting as the Road Warriors put up 122.5 points per trip.

Next: TNT Tropang Giga (February 1), Phoenix Super LPG (February 4)

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Tropang Giga may be undefeated, but both of their Week 1 wins were games against two undefeated teams. They even fell behind by 18 to Rain or Shine before rallying in the second half for a five-point win. Jalen Hudson (29.0ppg) and RR Pogoy (21.5) have lit up, while Mikey Williams has come off the bench to chip in 16.5. Interim coach Jojo Lastimosa has hinted at reintroducing Williams into the starting lineup when he is 100% healthy, and when that happens, Tropang Giga could have the highest scoring starting five in the league.

Next: NLEX Road Warriors (Feb. 1), Magnolia Hotshots (Feb. 3)


The Bolts jumped at the chance to become the first team to go 3-0 after suffering a shock 96-88 loss to Terrafirma Dyip. Still, there are encouraging signs for Meralco. Chris Newsome is finally back in the saddle and is putting up 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. KJ McDaniels leads all players in rebounds per game (29.3), while the Bolts are tops in team rebounding with a whopping average of 58.3, about 14 boards better than second place.

Next: Blackwater Bossing (February 4)


The Beermen had to weather a huge Phoenix upset, but eventually won comfortably in their only Week 1 game. They will be without Vic Manuel, Terrence Romeo and Robbie Herndon for the next few weeks, but may have found a gem in Allyn Bulanadi, who they got from the NorthPort Batang Pier in the Paul Zamar trade. In his first game as a Beerman, Bulanadi had 16 points in 18 minutes off the bench, serving as the perfect complement to June Mar Fajardo, who kicked off his quest for a 7th MVP with a JMF-esque 19-13 outing. .

Next: Blackwater Bossing (February 1), Terrafirma Dyip (February 3)


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After Dyip lost by 15 to Converge in their first game, it seemed like they simply picked up where they left off in the Commissioner’s Cup where they went 1-12. But to their credit, they bounced back by handing the Bolts their first loss as Juami Tiongson knocked down a career-high 30. Jordan Williams is showing he can be an explosive scorer with a points-per-game average of 36.5, including 46 in his PBA debut. The Dyips are shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc, second best in the league behind Tropang Giga.

Next: San Miguel Beermen (February 3)


Like Dyip, Bossing opened the conference with a deflated loss, a 22-point beatdown at the hands of the Road Warriors. And like Dyip, they put the loss behind them and pulled out a win in the next game. The Bossing is still missing Troy Rosario, but Baser Amer is back and immediately contributing 15.0 ppg. Veteran JVee Casio is also back from injury, while Yousef Taha (11.5ppg, 9.5rpg) has been a pleasant surprise. And Ato Ular, who leads all participants in the statistical race for Rookie of the Year, puts up a nice 14-11 stat line.

Next: San Miguel Beermen (February 1), Meralco Bolts (February 4)


The Hotshots came close to pulling off an improbable comeback against the FiberXers, rallying from 14 points down late in the fourth period, before eventually falling short by two after Erik McCree’s triple missed in the dying seconds. McCree had 38 points and 16 boards in his conference debut, and he must continue to produce those numbers in Week 2 with Magnolia facing heavyweights TNT and SMB.

Next: TNT Tropang Giga (February 3), San Miguel Beermen (February 5)


After the Elasto Painters were blown out by the Bolts by 18 on opening day, coach Yeng Guiao called up import Michael Qualls, who he said got frustrated early and went on to shoot an atrocious 3-for-22 from the field. Qualls bounced back in their next game, scoring 35 points, but Rain or Shine coughed up an 18-point lead against TNT to drop its second straight. Scoring remains a problem for the Elasto painters; they’re averaging a league-low 93.5 ppg and shooting a league-worst 37% from the field, and aside from Qualls, only Rey Nambatac (19.0 ppg), Gian Mamuyac and Anton Asistio (both 10.0 ppg ) that hits double figures every game.

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Next: Converge FiberXers (February 2), Barangay Ginebra (February 5)


Fuel Masters almost pulled the rug out from under Tropang Giga in their first game, indicating that they would be competitive this conference. But it’s been downhill after that, as they dropped a close one to Blackwater, then got blown out of the water by the Beermen in a game where they trailed by as many as 33. Phoenix showed some fight against SMB, getting within nine late. , but they ran out of gas. On a bright note, rookies Encho Serrano and Tyler Tio continue to play at a high level.

Next: NorthPort Batang Pier (February 2), NLEX Road Warriors (February 4)


A coaching change has not resulted in any wins yet for the Batang Pier, who remain without top gun Robert Bolick as they continue to discuss a contract extension. NorthPort is last in rebounding (31.3) and is outscored with a team-worst 14.7 points per game. New recruit Joshua Munzon still hasn’t found his offensive rhythm, as he’s averaging just 9.0 ppg and shooting a dismal 28.9% from the field.

Next: Phoenix Super LPG (February 2)

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