MANILA, Philippines – Meralco import Allen Durham believed Japeth Aguilar got away with a foul when the Ginebra forward blocked his potential game-tying layup in the dying seconds of Game 1 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals.
With the Bolts trailing 89-87, Durham drove hard to the hoop and leapt for a layup, only for Aguilar to swat his shot with just 14 seconds left. Justin Brownlee recovered the ball, was fouled, and hit two free throws to ice Ginebra's 91-87 triumph.
"The last seconds of the game, I mean, in my opinion I thought that was a foul," Durham told reporters after the contest. "I mean, the video made it look like a foul."
"He was all over my shoulder," the import further pointed out.
After the play, Durham could only throw his hands up, as if asking for a foul, while Aguilar celebrated with his teammates. The import finished with a triple-double of 25 points, 18 rebounds, and 10 assists, but his efforts were not enough to give Meralco a win in the series opener.
"I guess the refs say he got more ball than body," Durham said of the play.
Durham knows he cannot dwell on the non-call, however.
"You just gotta bounce back from that. But as far as myself, personally, I gotta shoot better," said the two-time Best Import. "We got great contribution from our guys, the locals and stuff."
"I didn't perform to the best of my ability," added Durham, who shot just 10-of-26 from the field. "So, I gotta be better next game in Game 2."
The Bolts looked to be on their way to victory after taking a 10-point lead in the third quarter, but they were outplayed by the Gin Kings in the final frame. Aguilar and LA Tenorio, in particular, came up with big shots in the payoff period.
Despite this, Durham said they still had a chance to win in the end game. For him, it is a matter of taking advantage of every chance that they get in the finals.
"Even with the way that we shot and some of the missed plays that we should have had, we still had a chance to win at the end," he said.
"And when we had that opportunity, we gotta take it. We gotta be able to pull those type of games out especially against a team like this," he added.
Game 2 of the series is on Friday in Lucena.
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