MANILA, Philippines – Allen Durham is not giving up on his goal to deliver a championship to the Meralco Bolts.
This, even after they lost to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in the finals of the PBA Governors' Cup for the third time in four seasons.
Durham produced 29 points, 21 rebounds, and 8 assists but his effort was not enough to keep Meralco from losing to Ginebra in Game 5 last Friday, 105-93. It marked the third time that they bowed to the Gin Kings in the finals, having lost in 2016 and 2017 as well.
The three-time Best Import was gracious in defeat, even posting a congratulatory message to his archrival, Ginebra's Justin Brownlee, on Twitter. In his post, Durham called Brownlee the "ultimate competitor." The beloved Ginebra import had tallied 24 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds in the title clinching win.
But Durham also added: "This ain't over."
Speaking to reporters after the finals, Durham expressed his determination to win a championship with Meralco – regardless of who their opponent is.
"Obviously, I want a championship, it won't matter who it's against," said Durham, as quoted by the PBA website. "We'll go back to the gym, we're gonna try our luck again, we're gonna keep going until we get that breakthrough."
"I'm determined to win a championship with these guys. They're grown to be my brothers, they deserve to get one, too," he stressed.
Meralco and Ginebra split the first two games, but the complexion of the series changed when Raymond Almazan suffered an injury early into Game 3. While he still played in Game 4, it was clear he was not at 100%, and Almazan sat out in the fifth game.
Still, Durham acknowledged that the Gin Kings simply outplayed them in the finals.
"We definitely had opportunities in Game 1, opportunities in Game 3 and stuff that we just didn't capitalize, we couldn't get the 50/50 things," he admitted.
"Hats off to them," Durham added. "They played tough all the way, even in the game that we did win, they played tough until the final buzzer."
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