Meralco’s wide-bodied import Allen Durham came out of the team’s dugout wearing a T-shirt that says, “Hulk mode on”.
On Friday night, Durham turned into a “Hulk” on the court, hitting 2 key baskets during the dying minute of the game to rescue Meralco from imminent collapse en route to a 108-103 victory against a fighting Phoenix side.
Durham was superb in his first PBA game since 2014, finishing with incredible numbers of 32 points, 22 rebounds and 5 assists for the Bolts.
But the Grace Bible College standout said he’s no ball-hog at all.
“I’m still the same player, trying to be a good team player and make the team go pass the open guy, that’s the type of player I am,” the 6-foot-4 and 1/2 Durham said after the game.
“We just lost our focus but once we gained it back, we were able to regain the game.”
Durham first came into the PBA in 2014 as Barako Bull’s replacement import in the Governors Cup.
Meralco coach Norman Black described his American import as a thoroughbred.
“I don’t wanna call him anybody a horse but I wanna call him a thoroughbred,” said the multi-titled PBA coach.
“For me, he’s a throwback to the old days because he can score the basketball, he can rebound the basketball, he’s a good teammate because he’s a good passer and defensively, he’s solid player,” observed Black.
Black said Durham’s style of play reminded him a lot of imports he played against during the 1980s led by the “Black Superman” Billy Ray Bates, the late Bobby Parks and David Thirdkill.
But beyond the skills of Durham, Black said what makes him fit the team is his attitude.
“The best thing about Allen is his got a great attitude, which you don’t always find in imports. He’s just a very good package for us this conference,” he said.
“Our offense and defense will definitely go through him in the entire conference.”
The Bolts shoot for their 2nd straight win when they clash with the Alaska Aces on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – By Richard Dy
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