Meralco was ‘feeling rusty’ in its 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal opener versus the TNT KaTropa on Sunday evening.
Import Allen Durham offered the assessment after he and the Bolts absorbed a 94-103 defeat at the hands of their sister team that put them behind in the best-of-five series, 0-1.
“We were off for a while. We definitely felt the rust in the first three quarters,” said Durham, who had 32 points and 21 rebounds in the loss.
“Our offense was bad, our defense was bad.”
Things turned from bad to worse for Meralco in the second half. TNT led by only three early in the third canto, but found its groove on and made a 14-4 blitz en route to a 65-52 lead with 5:45 to go.
The Texters then led by as many as 22, 87-65, following a KJ McDaniels three-point play with 8:09 left in the fourth.
Still, Durham and the Bolts tried to fight back, even pulling within just eight points, 89-97, with 1:37 left to play. Unfortunately for them, McDaniels and Pogoy hit back-to-back buckets to put the match away.
For Durham, they cannot just flip the switch late in the game, especially against a team like the KaTropa, who beat them in the eliminations, 116-113, last October 12.
“Against this type of team we can’t start playing with just six minutes left in the game and expect to be okay,” he said.
Game Two is set on Tuesday, and Durham hopes that Sunday’s game has helped Meralco shake off that rust.
“I hope so,” said the two-time Best Import.
“I think we got to figure out how to be better in defense, and on offense we got to move with more rhythm and as we do that, I think we’d be okay.”
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