Home Sports After winning MVP in RSJ game, Arana wants wins for Converge next

After winning MVP in RSJ game, Arana wants wins for Converge next


Justin Arana PBA All-Star Weekend Blitz Game.

Team Greats’ Justin Arana in the PBA All-Star Weekend Blitz Game. –PBA IMAGES

BACOLOD—Justin Arana spent as much time as possible granting autograph or photo requests after claiming Most Valuable Player (MVP) honors in Saturday’s Rookies Sophomores Juniors (RSJ) Game.

As he was whisked away by security men assigned to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) delegation during the All-Star Weekend in this city, Arana took off his Team Greats and threw it to a lucky fan, who was quick to take pride in the souvenir item.

Arana’s performance at University of St. La Salle Coliseum where he finished with 36 points and eight rebounds in the Team Greats’ 142-133 win over Team Stalwarts further established his reputation as one of the league’s rising stars.

It also raised expectations that the Converge star could eventually see his name being tapped for future All-Star editions.

“Of course, I want to play in the All-Star Game,” Arana said in Filipino. “It would be a great opportunity to take part in it in the future. If not, I’ll cherish the experience I had playing in the RSJ Game.”

Lone bright spot

It would be a surprise if Arana fails to garner such recognition down the road, especially with the way he’s playing since being selected third in the 2022 Rookie Draft as a prominent post up player.

The Arellano University product is no doubt the lone bright spot for his team, which has been totally lagging throughout Season 48.

Converge won just one game in the Commissioner’s Cup and failure to so far produce a victory in the current Philippine Cup has prompted fans on social media to suspect the team of “tanking” for a chance to get the top pick in next year’s draft proceedings.

The FiberXers, obviously, decry those claims.

Winning the RSJ Game seemed like a rarity for Arana, who is still motivated to lead the FiberXers out of their current slump.

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“We’re struggling, but we’re still motivated to get that first win. We just have to double our efforts,” he said. INQ

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