ALLEN Durham hopes Meralco will continue to play with a do-or-die mentality as the Bolts look to hold a 2-0 lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.
The Bolts took the series opener on Sunday after beating Alaska, 97-92, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, the team’s seventh consecutive victory.
Meralco reached the semifinals after winning six straight do-or-die games, and Durham said that same mentality will be the key for the Bolts as they look to advance into the finals for the third straight time.
“We don’t want to relax,” said Durham, after finishing with 32 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists. “It’s been working for us to keep the intensity up. We will try to have that mentality that we have been having in the last few games.”
In Game One, Durham said Meralco played as if they were in a do-or-die situation, citing the pregame speech of Bolts coach Norman Black of how important winning the series opener is.
“Coach, he ran down the percentages and he was like the team that wins Game 1 has a better chance to win and he was like Game One is really, really important so we really focused on coming out with intensity. We knew Alaska is going to come out. We just have to execute and play defense,” said Durham.
Durham said he definitely expects Alaska to make important adjustments for Game Two which will be played on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. He also agreed that defense will definitely be tighter against him for Game Two.
But the Meralco reinforcement said the locals led by Chris Newsome and Baser Amer have been playing so well in their current run that they would definitely be stepping up once more as the semifinal series goes deeper.
“For sure. He (Alex Compton) is a good coach. I’m sure he is going to make changes and stuff. Our locals, they are playing good right now. It’ going to be nothing for me to pass it out and have faith that they will make the right play. That’s how we’ve been winning,” said Durham.