WITH Meralco on the brink of elimination, Allen Durham reminded everyone why he’s the Best Import in the PBA Governors’ Cup for consecutive years.
Durham was close to unstoppable in the final stretch of Meralco’s knockout match against Phoenix as he willed his team to a place in the semifinals after a thrilling 108-103 overtime win on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With the Bolts down by 16 after a listless start, it was Durham who injected the much-needed energy as he time and again plowed his way through the frontline of the Fuel Masters to help the Bolts steal the win.
“A lot of our wins was because of the production of Allen Durham,” said Meralco coach Norman Black after Durham finished with 32 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists in the win. “If he’s going to lead like that, his teammates will follow."
Despite the big numbers, Durham certainly didn’t do things by himself.
The hulking 6-5 forward got significant help from everyone down the stretch, from Baser Amer to Chris Newsome to Reynel Hugnatan. That’s just goes to show the type of team that they have moving forward.
“We just got heart. We could have been down so many times before we got to this game but the guys, they dug down. We just showed that we are resilient and we are a good team,” said Durham.
“I’m proud of everybody in that locker room,’ he added.
It wasn’t a dream start at all for the Bolts as they had to win four consecutive games in the elimination round just to finish at No. 7 before needing to steal two wins from Phoenix to get back in the Final Four.
Being a finalist for two straight years, Durham said that they’ve always been built from adversity.
“We’ve been here before. The last two Governors’ Cup we had trials and tribulations. This season, we had trials and tribulations, we just stayed together as a family, as one unit and we were able to come out with a win against a very good team,” Durham said.
“We just got to keep fighting. Whatever the score is in the end, that’s something we have to live with. We gonna fight until the clock says zero.”