WHAT’S momentum if you can’t sustain it until the end?
Allen Durham feels Meralco now has a rhythm going after notching back-to-back wins, but he knows it can easily return to Barangay Ginebra with how the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals series has gone.
After the Gin Kings won the first two games, the Bolts retaliated with two victories, the latest an 85-83 decision in Game Four, as the best-of-seven series is back to square one.
“Yeah, you definitely can (consider this a momentum shift), but with two great teams, momentum don’t mean nothing,” Durham insisted after their latest win. “You just gotta come out and play.”
“They won two games in a row, they had momentum. We came back and won two games, now we got momentum, so it really don’t mean nothing. We still gotta play and execute,” the back-to-back Best Import in the Governors’ Cup added.
And Durham, who has averaged over 43 minutes in the first four games of the series, has to continue to play extensive minutes for the Bolts to sustain their push and get over the hump after falling short last year.
Bolts coach Norman Black is hardly worried about fatigue taking its toll on Durham.
“Well, he's driven to win this conference,” Black said. “He was here last year, he didn’t win and of course the way he didn’t win was not very nice.
“But he’s probably tired, there's no question about that. I reminded him that he was averaging about 43-44 minutes a game, but if you played here in the 80s, in the 90s, you’d be averaging 48,” the former PBA import known as 'Mr. 100%' added.
Black has no choice but to keep Durham inside when Gin Kings counterpart Justin Brownlee is also on the floor doing damage.
“(If) Brownlee comes off the floor, I’ll give him a rest,” Black said. “That’s the way it will go. Because what ends up happening is if you leave your import out of the game for a long time while the other import is in, that's probably gonna be the momentum change that the other team’s gonna need to win.”
“So it’s the end of the conference, I’m sure he’ll be able to rest up when the conference is over but he’s just gonna have to grind it out for now,” he added.
At least Durham has now found much-needed contribution from the locals, especially Baser Amer and Chris Newsome, apart from Reynel Hugnatan, who has been stepping up for the injured Ranidel de Ocampo.
“Fortunately, tonight (Game Four) our guys were hitting shots and we had a lot of help. I had a lot of help,” Durham said. “It was definitely a lot easier tonight.”