CLIFF Hodge took responsibility for the late booboo Allen Durham committed in Game Three that cost Meralco dearly in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal match against TnT on Thursday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
With TnT up by three-points and the game clock ticking away to its final 12 seconds, Durham passed the ball to Hodge who was standing infront of the Meralco bench wide open.
There was just one problem: Hodge, a towel draped over his shoulder, wasn't in the game.
Hodge admitted he should have sat on the bench in that play.
“It was about 10 seconds left and I thought someone was going to shoot a three. But I think he saw my jersey. Probably thought that I was on the court.
“But it was my fault. Probably should be sitting on the bench,” said Hodge.
Hodge though said such situations are all part of the game.
“Not really,” said Hodge, when asked if he and Durham talked about what happened. “It’s just one part of the game. We still have to make the shot to put it into overtime.
"It is what it is. Things like that happen. We’ll just try to bounce back and push it to Game Five.”
“No regrets. It happens,” said Hodge.
Durham said he passed the ball thinking that there was an open man at the corner who will take a three-point shot.
“I saw a jersey from my peripheral,” said Durham. “Cliff was over there with his hands up. I don’t know what happened. But I just saw him so I tried to swing the ball. He wasn’t in the playing court.”
But the Meralco import played down the turnover, saying the Bolts had a lot of chances not to be in that kind of situation late in the game.
“It was unfortunate, obviously, in the most crucial time of the game but it didn’t come out with just one play even though we could have tied it if we hit the shot. But we have to be better before getting down to a play like that,” said Durham.
Durham said Meralco gave up several offensive rebounds, most of them to KJ McDaniels, who scored a tip-in with 35.9 seconds left in the game that gave TNT a 100-97 lead.
“This is the game that we let it get away from us. Even though we had that slow start in the third, end of the third, and early fourth, we still had the game in our control. It came down to two offensive rebounds that we gave them. We have to clean that up. The game could have gone either way,” said Durham.