Game Three of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals pitting Meralco against the Alaska Aces will stick with the Bolts for some time.
Just for the wrong reasons.
The Bolts managed to stay firm even after blowing an 11-point lead, but the Aces proved too much to handle. Import Mike Harris scored nine inside the final 1:26 to give his side a 104-102 lead with 11 seconds to go.
Given the gap and the time left, Meralco still could have at least tied the game and sent it to overtime. But they failed, as Allen Durham’s point-blank shot – which he makes most of the time – went in and out.
“We couldn’t get the offensive rebound when we needed it. I think it was like three different possessions or something like that. We had an opportunity to make headway and get the lead, but we couldn’t get the rebound.
“That hurt us in the end. And I missed the point blank shot at the end. I’m disappointed,” rued the two-time defending Best Import Durham, who flirted with a triple-double of 37 points, 18 rebounds, and eight assists.
The result means that Game Four will be a do-or-die for the Bolts. But that is familiar territory, as their last four elimination games – plus their quarters clash with Phoenix – were all must-win.
So even if the Bolts have lost two in a row after seven straight wins, Durham remains confident in his team’s chances in Game Four on Saturday.
“I’m very confident.
“Like I said in Game Two, we beat ourselves and in this game, it came down to a couple of offensive rebounds. And I missed a little layup that I normally make, so it’s not like we’re far off,” said the 29-year-old.
“Do-or-die. We win or we go home. So, I think everybody in that locker room is motivated. We’ve been in this position before. Now we just got to get the outcome that we want,” Durham closed.