PBA: Durham challenges Meralco to 'have some heart'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2020 05:41 PM

Meralco's Allen Durham (5) posts up against Justin Brownlee of Ginebra in Game 4 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Meralco import Allen Durham was in no mood to celebrate a third Best Import award on Wednesday, after the Bolts absorbed a crushing 94-72 defeat to Barangay Ginebra in Game 4 of the PBA Governors' Cup finals.

Durham produced 21 points, 27 rebounds, and 7 assists but his efforts were not nearly enough to lift the Bolts to victory. As a team, they shot only 37% from the field, and made just 3 of their 26 attempts from long range. They had no answers for Ginebra on the other end as well, with the Gin Kings netting 46% of their shots.

The result gave Ginebra a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, and put Meralco on the brink of yet another finals loss to the Gin Kings. The situation clearly frustrated Durham, who ahead of the game had received his third Bobby Parks trophy as the conference's Best Import.

"It don't mean nothing right now," he said of the award. "I don't really care about that. That's not why I came back."

"I'm just worried about trying to get a win on Friday and extend the series," he insisted.

Durham also won the Best Import award in 2016 and 2017, and each time, the Bolts lost to the Gin Kings in the finals.

If they hope to avoid the same fate, the Bolts need to play with more fire and energy than they did on Wednesday night. Coach Norman Black called their effort "embarrassing," and Durham did not mince his words either.

"Everybody gotta look in the mirror," said Durham. "Everybody on the roster played like sh*t."

Durham did not spare himself from criticism, as he committed six of the team's 19 turnovers, from which Ginebra scored 27 points.

"We gotta get better," the import stressed. "We basically gotta have some heart. It's not even about x's and o's on Friday. We gotta come out and just have some heart, and see if we want it more."

Durham acknowledged that it won't be easy. They have struggled to limit Stanley Pringle in the past two games, and Justin Brownlee has done a better job of setting up his teammates in Games 3 and 4 after being limited to one assist in the first two contests of the series.

But the import said a lot of it will still boil down to effort – something they lacked in Game 4.

"I mean, yeah, we gotta execute," said Durham. "But we gotta have some heart, you know."

"Tonight, that was terrible. Everybody played terrible," he lamented. "Everybody. And we gotta find a way to fix it before Friday."

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