Converge parades Kiwi import
Tom Vodanovich of New Zealand will make his Converge debut today in the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs. | Photograph courtesy of sydneykings.com
It’s never too late for Converge to bring in Tom Vodanovich from New Zealand, the FiberXers’ original choice as import for the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
Tapped as Converge’s third reinforcement this conference, Vodanovich was measured just a shade below 6-6 on the eve of the FiberXers’ playoff match against San Miguel Beer.
The Beermen carry a twice-to-beat advantage over the FiberXers and the match could serve as a make-or-break encounter for Vodanovich, whom Converge board governor Atty. Chito Salud said as the first choice as reinforcement of the squad for the season-ending tournament.
“He’s our original choice who could not make it due to previous contractual commitments and scheduling conflicts,” wrote Atty. Salud in a Viber message to Daily Tribune.
Vodanovich came at a time when Converge cannot afford to lose a game as the team needs to beat the June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel Beer twice in a row to advance to the semifinal round.
A player who led the New Zealand Breakers to the National Basketball League crown just recently, Vodanovich will take over the spot of Jamaal Franklin, the explosive import, who had a falling out with head coach, Aldin Ayo.
Franklin scored two 50-plus point games, but his lackadaisical performance in his last game where he ended up with only four points and took only five attempts in a 120-101 beatdown at the hands of defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel paved the way for his sudden sacking.
Vodanovich will also be the second Kiwi player to see action for Converge.
Ethan Rusbatch, also a previous member of the New Zealand Tall Blacks national team like Vodanovich, also suited up for the FiberXers this conference and was the team’s first reinforcement before he was replaced by Franklin.
Vodanovich played for New Zealand’s national team during the 2018 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The 28-year-old Kiwi was also the Most Valuable Player in the New Zealand NBL three years ago.
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