Back in the PBA for the third time, the hulking center seeks to complete his unfinished business
Published 1:51 AM, August 18, 2018
Updated 1:51 AM, August 18, 2018
ELECTRIC RETURN. Allen Durham powers Meralco into a conference-opening 109-106 win over Columbian. Photo from PBA Images
ANTIPOLO, Philippines – With nothing much else to prove, Allen Durham ultimately wants the elusive PBA championship.
Durham, the Governors’ Cup two-time reigning Best Import, returns to the Meralco Bolts for his third tour of duty and seeks to finally complete his unfinished business in the past two years.
Having been to the finals of the last two editions of the season-ending conference, the 30-year-old American and the Bolts had failed to get over the hump and settled for back-to-back bridesmaid finishes against Barangay Ginebra.
“I think we need a championship. It’s all about the team right now,” Durham said. “I don’t have nothing to prove. You guys see me play. I’ve been here for three years so I focus on just [winning the] championship.”
The hulking center’s desire to succeed was evident as he delivered a herculean effort of 26 points, 20 rebounds and 9 assists in Meralco’s conference-opening 109-106 win over Columbian on Friday, August 17.
Limited to 7 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists and with the Bolts trailing by 10 in the first half, Durham took control in the final two quarters to electrify the team to triumph.
What was more impressive with Durham’s performance is that he’s still dealing with jetlag, having been in the country for less than two weeks.
“It’s a little bit rusty. I haven’t been here longer with the team,” he said. “I’ve been waking up 5 am in the morning so I’m still trying to get over that. But give me a couple of days. I’ll be all right.”
Will the third time be the charm for Durham? Maybe. But what he is sure of is that the Bolts should learn how to win in the endgame.
“We just got to be able to finish. We do good in the eliminations and we do good in the playoffs and it’s just always been a missed shot or a bad game in the finals,” he said.
“But we’re just as good as we are last year. We just got to play like it.”
Meralco looks to make it two wins in a row against Phoenix on Wednesday, August 22, at the Araneta Coliseum.