MERALCO found out how heavy an underdog it is against TNT Katropa after surrendering a 113-95 decision to its sister squad in Game One of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series on Tuesday night.
As solid as they played in the first half, the Bolts still saw the Texters go ahead by two points at intermission before pulling away for the blowout victory at the start of the best-of-five series.
Still, Bolts import Allen Durham is upbeat of pulling off an upset as they seek to even the series in Game Two on Thursday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Nobody’s giving us a chance, but the beauty of basketball is you still got to play the game,” Durham said. “Just because we’re the underdogs, we still got a chance.”
“We got to do better in Game Two and I think we’ll make this series competitive,” the do-it-all import said ahead of the 7 p.m. matchup.
[See Easy does it for TNT]
In the series opener, the Bolts led by six points halfway through the first quarter and kept it a tight race the rest of the half before the Texters shifted to higher gear after the break to pull away.
While they minimized the production of Jayson Castro, the Bolts allowed six other Texters, led by Asian import Mike Madanly, to score at least eight points.
Durham almost singlehandedly carried the Bolts with 26 points, 21 boards, seven assists, three blocks, and one steal in 42 minutes as Chris Newsome and Jared Dillinger were far from their usual forms.
And the Texters are wary of the Bolts’ locals bouncing back from dismal performances.
“We know Meralco can come back, so we can’t let our guards down,” TNT coach Jong Uichico said. “It’s a long ways to go pa.”