ANTIPOLO – Meralco import Allen Durham continued his stellar play on Sunday, scoring 32 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in a 97-92 win over Alaska in Game One of their PBA Governors Cup semifinal playoff.
Meralco coach Norman Black continues to marvel at the play of Durham, who has been the catalyst in a breath-taking resurgence that saw the Bolts win seven straight games - six of them do-or-die matches.
“I keep saying that he is the catalyst to everything we do. He gives us that strong foundation in the middle what we can build off. I used to play in this league, so I know, if you are a good import, normally your locals will follow and they will support you.
“That’s what is happening for us. He is leading the way,” Black said.
Alaska coach Alex Compton was also left impressed by Durham's play.
“Galing,” said Compton. “Durham was awesome. He was so efficient. He was 13 for 19. He was so efficient.”
Compton believed Durham taking time off from basketball has reinvigorated him. Off the court, Durham actually owns a semi-professional team, the Grand Rapids Danger, in the North American Basketball League.
“Durham having a year off was a big part of that. Taking a year off from basketball, you come back, and then you kinda work your way up. He is playing like him now. He is doing a great job,” said Compton.
Black said he is just happy to have a dependable import to rely on in Durham.
“The hardest thing for a coach is to get players to be consistent. Sometimes they play good, sometimes they don’t play so good. Sometimes they shoot well, sometimes they don’t. It’s really a blessing when you have that one guy that is going to be there offensively and defensively on the boards.
"He is the foundation for everything that we do. He may have gotten to a slow start but right now he is on a roll,” said Black.