MANILA, Philippines-Converge coach Aldin Ayo said changes are in the offing after import Jamaal Franklin took an offensive nosedive in the FiberXers’ 120-101 loss to Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday.
Franklin attempted just five shots and finished with four points in the game held at Philsports Arena in Pasig City, leaving Ayo and the FiberXers puzzled considering the former NBA player was two days removed from a 57-point output in an overtime loss to the Meralco Bolts.
“It’s either he takes 36 [shots] or he takes five. So what’s the deal?” said Ayo, who praised the effort of his locals amid Franklin’s lack of offense. “For sure there will be changes, but I still can’t say what the definite decision is.”
But pressed if the changes can include giving Franklin the pink slip, Ayo said the responsibility rests on the Converge higher-ups, who likely have the same sentiments.
“It’s not my decision to make, it will be the decision of management,” Ayo added.
Franklin came into the contest averaging 37.3 points on 23.1 attempts since replacing Ethan Rusbatch two games into the season-ending conference.
But against Ginebra, the all-around reinforcement opted to pass the ball more than opting to go for shots, regardless if it was contested or not, he usually makes.
Ayo later suggested that there were instances when Franklin opted to veer away from his usual game.
“Medyo nasurprise ako, pero may mga precedence na,” he said. “Yung mga games namin before against Blackwater, kita niyo naman yung body language dun. And there were games also na ganun.
(I was a bit surprised, but there was already some precedent. There were some games, especially against Blackwater, where his body language was different.)
“At the back of my mind, parang nandun lang yun na baka gawin niya ulit to. Pero the instruction was really maglaro ang sa sistema e. Ganun lang din naman. Pero, I don’t know. I don’t know what happened.”
(At the back of my mind, there was always that possibility that he might do it again. But the instruction was really to play within the system. But I don’t know what happened.)
The situation only compounded the late swoon by the FiberXers, who dropped their last three games to miss out on a top four finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters.
Behind Franklin, Converge went 4-0 and had a 6-2 record when things went south.
It’s the second straight conference that Converge had problems surrounding its import. Ayo opted not to play Quincy Miller during a game in the Commissioner’s Cup for disciplinary reasons.
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