ALLEN Durham was proud to see Meralco take a leaf out of San Miguel Beer’s psychological playbook by showing championship poise in pulling off a come-from-behind 104-101 win over the grand slam-seeking team in their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup on Sunday night.
The Bolts import stood at the forefront of the comeback, scoring 14 of his 35 points in the final frame, including the putback stab off his own miss that gave his team the lead for good after they trailed by as many as 18 points in the third quarter.
“You know, SMB they're a championship team. We knew if we wanted any chance to win, we were gonna have to play all forty-eight minutes. That's what we did tonight,” Durham said. “We started slow but we just stayed with it and kept grinding, that's just the type of team that we are.”
The result propelled the Bolts to the top of heap, earning the top seed with a twice-to-beat advantage against eighth seed Blackwater in the quarterfinals starting on Tuesday.
Durham, however, is reminding his teammates to stay grounded, well aware they haven’t won anything yet.
“It feels good, but they don't give you trophies for being number one in the regular season,” Durham stressed. “We gotta keep doing work and we have a number one goal in mind and that's to be champs. We gotta get back to work tomorrow.”
Durham insists the road to the Promised Land still goes through the Beermen as well as defending champion Ginebra and the Bolts’ sister team in TNT KaTropa.
“If you wanna be a champion at anything, it's not gonna be easy,” the reigning Best Import said. “It's going to be games like this in the playoffs and we just gotta play defense, keeping trucking and keep going.”
“I think SMB, and Ginebra, and TNT is playing good, we're not the only team that's playing good right now,” he added. “We just gotta keep doing what we do and we can't worry too much about the other teams.”