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PBA Governos' Cup semis

Durham’s triple-double helps Meralco tie series with TNT

By: Musong Castillo - Philippine Daily Inquirer | December 18,2019 - 07:17 AM

Meralco’s Allen Durham’s undergoal shot is challenged by TNT’s KJ McDaniels in Game 2 of the PBA governors’ Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum. contributed photo | PBA Images

A day before Game 2 of this PBA Governors’ Cup Final Four series was to be played, all the talk was on how Allen Durham should be contained.

It was all that—talk.

The workmanlike Meralco import had his way with TNT on Tuesday night, December 17, 2019, finishing with 44 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists as the Bolts waylaid the powerhouse KaTropa, 114-94, to knot this best-of-five series at 1-1 at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Meralco got out of the gates smoking and its defense made the KaTropa look like they didn’t belong on the same floor as the Bolts opened up leads of as large as 35 before playing on cruise control the rest of the way.“We were a little rusty in Game 1,” Durham said, not looking the worse for wear after playing 43 minutes. He was rested with a little under three minutes remaining where he could have jacked up his stats some more.“We had to come out with a level of intensity [to match TNT’s],” Durham went on. “After [the] Game 1 [loss], everybody [in the team] thought that we could be better, and we did that tonight.”

Baser Amer scored 20 points, Bong Quinto fired 12 and Chris Newsome added 11 as coach Norman Black got four of his starters to contribute heavily, with Raymond Almazan, the Bolts’ starting center, shooting nine points and plucking down eight rebounds.

The winner of this series will go on to advance versus the survivor of the Barangay Ginebra-NorthPort matchup, with the Gin Kings owning some momentum going into Wednesday’s Game 3 where they break a 1-1 tie.

The Ginebra-NorthPort series has opened with a pair of routs and a combined winning margin of 79 points.

The Batang Pier, however, will shoulder the burden of adjustment in Game 3 after they were totally outplayed by the Kings.

KJ McDaniels scored 51 points for TNT, but he was the only one that clicked in the first half as he scored all but eight of the KaTropa’s 29 first half points.

“It’s basketball,” Black said when asked what he thought happened in the first half when his Bolts practically put the game away there. “That’s all I can say, it’s basketball.”

Durham knows that the TNT defense will be more focused on him come Game 3, and he expects his teammates to shine even more.

“All we need to do is pick up where we left off,” he said as the Bolts shoot to return to the Finals of the season-closing tournament for the first time since 2017. 

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TAGS: Governors' Cup, Meralco, PBA, results, TNT, updates

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