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PBA Best Imports: Allen Durham, Hulking Thoroughbred

Local players are not the only ones that have become stars over the years in the Philippine Basketball Association. Foreign players reinforcing teams, or those they call imports, can be just as beloved. An import playing in the PBA is expected to deliver big numbers; however, production is not the only criteria that makes one successful in basketball on this side of the world. Winning, charisma, and actual love for the PBA and its fans also heavily go into it. The Best Imports will be recognized in name, but the truly great ones that have made their mark here are more than just one-hit wonders. In this series, we take a look at some of the reinforcements who have truly made a home in the PBA. Let’s continue with the electrifying Best Import, Allen Durham.   Thoroughbred Allen Durham’s PBA career actually started in 2014 with Barako Bull, but he found his true home with the Meralco Bolts. Upon returning to the league for the 2016 Governors’ Cup, Meralco head coach Norman Black described the hulking Durham as a thoroughbred. He was right. Norman Black is not just one of the best coaches in the PBA, he’s also one of the best imports in league history. He knows a great import when he sees one so of course he was right about AD. In Durham’s first full conference in the PBA, he led the Bolts to their first-ever Finals appearance. Meralco took down an upstart Mahindra team and the 10-1 TNT KaTropa on its way to the championship round. If not for a certain shot by another Best Import to be featured in this series, the Bolts would most likely have a championship already. In Durham’s first full conference in the PBA, he averaged a strong 29.4 points, 15.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks when he won his first Best Import trophy.   Best Import x3 It’s quite unfortunate for an import like Durham to not have a championship after multiple stints in the PBA. He just keeps running into Justin Brownlee’s Barangay Ginebra. In four seasons with Meralco, Durham had the Bolts to three Governors’ Cup Finals, each time losing to Brownlee and the Gin Kings. The only time Meralco didn’t reach the Finals with Durham, the Bolts survived six straight knockout games to set up a semifinals series against Best Import Mike Harris and the Alaska Aces.  Save for the Finals defeats at the hands of Ginebra, Meralco’s winning culture is mostly thanks to Durham. The Bolts repeatedly falter in the All-Filipino, but they’re a top-4 team whenever Durham suits up. AD also consistently puts up monster numbers, that and the impact to Meralco’s wins make him an obvious choice for Best Import each and every season. Durham has won the award three times in the Governors’ Cup for the years 2016, 2017, and 2019. Durham is second in the all-time list and only Bobby Parks Sr. has more Best Import wins than him at seven. After his first Best Import win in the Governors’ Cup in 2016, Durham came back stronger in 2017, leading Meralco to the no. 1 seed and to Game 7 of the Finals in front of a record crowd at the Philippine Arena. In between, AD averaged an incredible 25.4 points, 20.06 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 1.3 blocks to win a second Best Import plum. Durham is also the most recent winner of the Best Import award in the PBA, averaging 29.8 points, 15.4 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in the 2019 Governors’ Cup. Just like in previous years, AD beat Brownlee for Best Import but it was the Gin Kings that took the title. Durham is still pretty dead set on winning a PBA title, whether he returns to Meralco or any other team in the future remains to be seen. Regardless, Allen Durham is a true PBA Best Import, his name already sealed in history. Best Import, Allen Durham: - Five PBA conferences for Barako Bull and Meralco - 3-time Best Import - Second all-time for most Best Import wins behind Bobby Parks Sr.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 4th, 2020

Black believes Ginebra’s Brownlee can break his record

          By JONAS TERRADO   Meralco coach Norman Black believes that Justin Brownlee and Allen Durham are capable of joining him as the only imports to reach the PBA’s 10,000-point club. Black expressed gratitude after being informed of the 32nd anniversary of the feat he did as a playing of San […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

PBA: Ginebra not a rival until Meralco wins a title says AD

For the third time in four seasons, Barangay Ginebra and Meralco will duke it out in the Finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup. The Trilogy will officially tip off on Jan. 7 and the third installment of the classic Finals showdown should be the most intense in this rivalry. However, as far as the Meralco Bolts are concerned, it’s not much of a rivalry if they can’t win. Behind “The Shot”, the Gin Kings won the 2016 Finals in six games. A year later, Ginebra won Game 7 in front of a record crowd of almost 55,000 fans. “No, not yet,” Meralco import Allen Durham said when asked if they consider Justin Brownlee and the Gin Kings as rivals. “We gotta win a championship first. And then we can call them a rival,” he added. In meeting Brownlee with another PBA title on the line, Durham is raring to go. If the previous two Finals are any indication, taking on Brownlee will only bring out the best in AD. “It’s going to be fun. As a competitor you always wanna play against the best. He’s shown that he’s one of the best imports in the PBA year after year,” Durham said of Brownlee. “It’s definitely going to be a battle,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2019

PBA: Champion Travis leads impressive list of 'balik imports' for Governors Cup

The resident import trend continues in the PBA. Eight of the 12 imports for the season-ending Governors' Cup have previous PBA experience, with five coming back to the same team they played for last season. Former Best Import Romeo Travis returns to Magnolia as the Hotshots look to defend their title. With Travis last year, the Hotshots dethroned Ginebra in the semifinals and took out Alaska in six games to win their first title in four years. Speaking of Ginebra, the Gin Kings will once again run it back with Justin Brownlee. JB has been a Ginebra fixture since 2016 and has three titles with the team. With Brownlee playing, the Gin Kings are always in the semifinals at the very least. After failing to complete a Governors' Cup three-peat last year and missing out on back-to-back Commissioner's Cup titles this year, you better believe that Brownlee and Ginebra are hungry for another championship. Also coming back for another tour of duty is Eugene Phelps for Phoenix. El Destructor has helped power the Fuel Masters to the upper half of the standings since coming over as a scoring and rebounding machine in 2016. After a suffering an upset last year, missing the semis as a top-2 seed, Phelps and Phoenix have some unfinished business in the Governors' Cup. The same goes for Olu Ashaolu and NLEX. Olu simply fits with the Road Warriors but Ashaolu's untimely injury last year robbed him of all the momentum he's built with NLEX. Now fully healthy with top local help in JP Erram and the returning Kiefer Ravena, Olu and the Road Warriors are a solid sleeper pick for the Governors' Cup. Finally, there's Allen Durham, who has even bigger unfinished business in the PBA with Meralco. Durham, a two-time Best Import, had the Bolts in back-to-back Finals, losing to Ginebra both times. Last year, AD powered Meralco all the way to the semifinals, surviving six straight knockout games. Third time wasn't the charm for Durham and the Bolts, maybe a fourth time can do the trick. Also coming back for return stints in the PBA are Mychal Ammons for Northport (formerly with TNT), Joel Wright for Rain or Shine (formerly with Star). Marqus Blakely (formerly with San Mig and TNT) will suit up for Blackwater in the East Asia Super League's Terrific 12 tournament in Macau and the Elite are also eyeing the two-time champion for a Governors' Cup stint following a release from the KaTropa.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 12th, 2019

Balik-imports sa PBA Govs Cup

BABANDERA Si two-time Best Import Allen Durham sa mga balik-imports sa paparating na 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup sa susunod na buwan. Pinangalanan ang batikang reinforcement kamakalawa ng Meralco Bolts bilang kanilang import sa ikaapat na sunod na taon. Sa unang dalawang tour of duties ni Durham noong 2016 at 2017 ay siya ang naging Best ........»»

Category: filipinoSource:  hatawtabloidRelated NewsAug 20th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones new tropa wants to send him back to the NBA

Over the last couple of seasons, the PBA has seen its share of super imports. Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee immediately comes to mind. Meralco’s Allen Durham and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps fit in that mold too. Alaska’s Mike Harris is in that list as well. The uber-talented Glen Rice Jr. could have made it if he just got it together. But for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT brought not just any other import. Tired of underperforming for the past few conferences, the KaTropa went ahead and signed former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones for the mid-season joust. With Jones, TNT went the super — SUPER — import route and it has been worth every penny for the KaTropa, at least so far.   ROCKET MAN Many former NBA players have played in the PBA before, that’s not a new thing. But what makes Jones special is that he’s at his peak of his powers now as he plays his first stint in the PBA. Jones is a former first-round pick and was a legitimate NBA contributor. In his best NBA season, in 2013-2014 for Houston, Jones started 71 games and had career-high numbers of 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. This dude is legit. “Oo iba, iba siya talaga,” guard RR Pogoy said of Jones. (Yes, he’s really different). In just one conference, Pogoy and Jones have clicked as teammates. Terrence has admitted that RR is one of his favorite local targets when he’s trying to spot an open teammate when opposing teams double on him. Pogoy admits that Jones is one of the best, if not the best, import he’s ever played with. “Pwedeng-pwede pa siya talaga sa NBA eh. Iba yung skills niya,” he added. (He could still play in the NBA. His skills are just different).   THE DIFFERENCE TNT has ran pretty much the same system for years. Whether you like this team or now, they know what style they want to play andd they identify players that fit that system well. The KaTropa have dominated the PBA without a traditional big man. Ask other teams, they’ve been blindsided and bamboozled by a TNT offense led by diminutive point guards like Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro. However, the KaTropa have hit another rough patch. The team hasn’t made it to the PBA semifinals since 2017. Their 2018 campaign was a lot like the horror 2016 year with the only difference being three seasons ago, they actually made it to the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup as a no. 1 seed. Last year, they won zero playoff games and missed the playoffs altogether once so in essence, 2018 was a worse nightmare for the KaTropa. It didn’t help that in the previous All-Filipino, they were practically a missed 24-second violation away from ending the San Miguel Beer Philippine Cup dynasty. The winning formula no longer works for TNT. Or at the very least, it’s not as effective. Enter Terrence Jones. “Malaking tulong talaga siya sa team namin. Kung ano yung kulang samin, parang fit na fit talaga siya eh. Napa-dali na lang yung mga buhay namin sa basketball,” Pogoy said of Jones. (He’s a big help to our team. What we lack, he fits right in. Our basketball lives are easier with him). “Yung rebounding tsaka yung pagka-shot blocker niya [malaking tulong]. Naiilang din yun kalaban namin eh, sa rebound naman naco-control namin kasi may malaki na kami, yun naman talaga kulang namin,” Pogoy added. (His rebounding and his presence as a shot blocker is a huge help). In 10 games so far, Jones is averaging 14.9 rebounds per game. That may not seem much for an import but he’s never had fewer than 10 in a game and has hit a high 22 rebounds. His shot blocking has helped TNT shore up its overall defense as well with Jones averaging 2.9 rejections a game with his three best performances coming against Columbian (7 blocks), Ginebra (6 blocks), and San Miguel (5 blocks). The last two teams feature perhaps the two best frontlines in the league today by a wide margin. Aside from his defensive presences, Jones is a force on offense as well, averaging 34.5 points on close to 50 percent shooting. He’s hit over 30 points eight times and over 40 points four times. Scoring will be a given for a player of his caliber but what sets him apart is his ability to locate open teammates and willingly pass the ball to them. Jones is good for at least four assists in every game and he’s topped out at 16 dimes so far. In 10 games, he’s rounding up to 7.7 assists per outing which leads all imports, and the whole league actually. “Talagang willing passer siya, hinahanap din niya talaga yung mga kasama niya. Kumbaga di niya inaako lahat yung scoring load,” forward Troy Rosario said of his new frontcourt tandem in Jones. (He’s a willing passer. He really tries to find his teammates and he’s not trying to shoulder all the scoring load). “Kami ready pa rin kami lagi. Syempre yung experience niya sa NBA talagang pinapakita niya dito, natutulungan din niya kami kung saan kami dapat lumugar sa plays kasi advanced na siya eh, kahit di na sabihin ni coach alam na niya dapat gawin,” he added. (We’re just ready as locals. He’s really showing his NBA experience here, he’s helping us to where we need to be on plays because he’s so advanced he knows what to do even before coach tells us).   THE LEADER Aside from putting up big numbers across the board, there’s one underrated factor about Terrence Jones that has led to him making a positive impact on TNT. Jones made an effort to be a leader for the KaTropa and his teammates have rallied behind him for sure. The result is in the way they play and the way they win in the Commissioner’s Cup. “I think it’s come to them [TNT locals] listening and understanding that I have a little experience on what it takes to try to win and be a good teammate,” Jones said of his leadership role with the KaTropa and how it worked out. “They listened and understood that and we’ve been having fun ever since,” he added. TNT is full of alpha-level players but Jones’ NBA resume has certainly helped in making them line up behin their import and provide support. The the KaTropa have been running like a well-oiled machince with that set up. “Leadership pa lang niya ang laking tulong na samin. As locals, ginagawa lang namin kung ano dapat namin gawin para maka-contribute din and para matulungan din siya,” Rosario said. (His leadership alone is a big help for us. As locals, we just try to do what we need to do to contribute and to help him out). “Magaling siya, isa talaga siya mga leader namin ngayon. Talagang nili-lift up niya kami, di lang sa salita pati sa gawa,” Pogoy added. (He’s great, he’s one of our leaders now. He really lifts us up not just with words but with action as well)   THE LONG ROAD BACK TO THE ASSOCIATION It would be incredible if TNT ends up having Terrence Jones as a resident import the same way Ginebra has Justin Brownlee or Phoenix has Eugene Phelps or Meralco having Allen Durham. However, the KaTropa know that their super import still has a good shot of returning to the NBA and they plan on helping him get back there. “Syempre goal namin makapasok sa playoffs, nagawa na namin yun. Ang susunod na step is next round sa playoffs. Malaking tulong din yun sa kanya kasi yung pangalan niya bumabango ulit,” Rosario said. (Our goal is to make the playoffs and we did that. Now the next step is to get to the next round of the playoffs. That’s a big help for him to get his name out there again). “Preparation na rin kasi alam namin na after dito, meron siyang invites sa mga training camps,” he added. (It’s also good preparation because we know after this, he has some invites to camps). With TNT at 9-1 and a top-2 seed in the playoffs, the team is certainly favored to win in the Commissioner’s Cup. And perhaps one of Jones’ best ways to once again get some traction is to put up great numbers for a championship team in a big league like the PBA. There’s a big check mark on the numbers part and while he can’t win a title by his lonesome, Jones has an entire tropa that has his back. “Lalo na kung mag-champion kami, mabango yung pangalan niya di ba?” Pogoy said. (If we win the championship, that’s good for his name, right?). “Marami naman nags-scout diyan, nakikita siya and maganda pinapakita niya. Feel ko [kaya bumalik sa NBA],” he added. (There’s people that scout him, seeing him and how good he’s been performing. I feel [he can make it back to the NBA]). Of course, winning a PBA championship does not directly award Jones and NBA roster spot. However, he appreciates that his team backs him up in that regard. Right now TNT’s super import is just concerned about playing well with his team and winning more games. “I appreciate it, I wish nothing but the best for all my teammates as well,” Jones said. “I hope you guys see that while we’re playing, we’re smiling and enjoying one another when anybody scores. It’s just like a family atmosphere,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2019

Durham lifts Meralco in overtime to score first finals win

It was the Allen Durham takeover game. The hulking Meralco import took matters into his own hands and lifted the Bolts to a pulsating 114-109 overtime victory over Ginebra Friday in Game 1 of the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup Finals at the Big .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 7th, 2016

Meralco's Allen Durham is not going anywhere

Coach Norman Black must really like his Governors' Cup import. Suffering from a broken nose, Meralco Bolts reinforcement Allen Durham, a thoroughbred in the eyes of Black, has been performing below standards in the last two games all of which .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2016

Durham, Niigata get back at Ravena, NeoPhoenix

Three-time PBA Best Import Allen Durham proved to be a big thorn for Filipino ace Thirdy Ravena and his teammates as Niigata Albirex BB scored an 86-79 road win over San-En NeoPhoenix in the Japan B. League at the Toyohashi City General Gymnasium yesterday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 20th, 2020

How Hackett and Harris went beyond 100 points

(This story was originally published on June 30, 2016) One-hundred-point explosions are a rarity in professional basketball. Even in the NBA, no one has ever eclipsed Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in his game with the Philadelphia Warriors in trouncing the New York Knicks, 169-147, on March 2, 1962. So when you learn that two men, Americans playing as imports in the Philippine Basketball Association, had scored more than Wilt, you’d certainly be awed and astonished that such incredible feats in the history of the sport had actually occurred in our shores. Legends These legends, Michael Hackett, the man-mountain who leisurely takes care of business in the paint while reinforcing Ginebra San Miguel, and Tony Harris, the “Hurricane” who brings down opponents with his devastating scoring sprees through quick, shifty on court moves while playing for Swift Mighty Meaty Hotdogs, definitely left an indelible mark in PBA annals with those historic barrages that surely left everyone, foe or fan, stupefied and dazzled. Hackett, the hulking yet amiable giant, achieved the first-ever milestone on November 21, 1985 as Ginebra faced Great Taste in a battle for third place in the PBA Reinforced Conference.  His burly 6’5” frame would always have its way in the shaded lane, barreling his way through thick defensive walls and converting—all in bewildering succession. He pumped in 48 points at halftime, before scoring another 33 in the third quarter, and swishing 22 in the final period—for an eye-popping record-setting total of 103 points in one game. Breaching the Chamberlain record, Hackett had been praised as pro ball’s greatest scorer ever, even if he had not made the cut in the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup during the Showtime era after being the 22nd pick in the 3rd round of the 1982 NBA Draft. During that conference, Hackett averaged 50 points, 20 rebounds and 6 assists in 24 games that made him a hands-down choice for Best Import. With this lofty achievement, who would even think, much less imagine that this record would be broken seven years later. Best scorer Perhaps the all-time best performing scorer in the PBA’s history walked into a packed town gym in Iloilo City on October 10, 1992 in the elimination round of the PBA Third Conference to show Robert Jaworski and his Ginebra squad what he’s got. And, it was simply merciless. Scoring relentlessly from the field through lane incursions, midrange jumpers, slam dunks off the fastbreak and baskets from beyond the arc, the Hurricane already reached the highest score anyone could produce at halftime, 59 points. Harris continued his romp in the last two quarters, just leaving the never-say-die squad in the dust with another 46 points, leading Swift to a 151-147 victory and achieving a record-breaking single-game individual score of 105, surpassing Hackett’s record by two points. This scoring record remains to this day. Indeed, a double heartbreak for the country’s most popular team and a historic achievement by the flamboyant and perplexing import. Tough fouls But what was really exceptional was that he accomplished this feat despite Ginebra players fouling him a record 52 times, which he claimed in an NBA Philippines interview two years ago as “tough fouls” with “knees purposely extended to hit my groin, or the spitting on my face.” He was unfazed and this motivated the Monroe, Louisiana native even more by converting most of his points in his amazing 105-point game from the free throw area, where he made 45 out of 53 attempts. But what’s even more mind-blowing about Harris is that this was no single-game fluke or a stroke of luck. He scored 98 points only seven days after his 105-point game to lead Swift to a 157-147 victory over Presto Ice Cream.  Harris also scored 82 points in Swift’s conquest of Purefoods in Davao City a day before that record-breaking feat.  Before all of these scoring exploits, he actually “introduced” himself to the league with an 87-point performance in his debut in routing the San Miguel Beermen, 134-106. He also had 69, 57, and 54-point games throughout the season, ending up with a record 60.4 scoring average. Best achievement The best achievement of them all was that he steered the Mighty Meaties to the RFM franchise’s first-ever PBA championship by sweeping the 7-Up Uncolas in the Finals, 4-0. It was the current Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao’s first title. After his high-flying PBA stint, Harris tried his luck in the NBA via short 10-day deals with the Boston Celtics, but fell short with a mere 5-point clip in 14 games—a far cry from the fearsome offensive form he displayed in the PBA. He has since distanced himself from professional play, and now heads a sports apparel, supplies and equipment company in Los Angeles. Hackett, on the other hand, also did not engage in competitive basketball after his spectacular PBA run from 1985 to 1988, although he had once served as an assistant coach for a school in his native Jacksonville, Florida, and is now a sales consultant for a wine and beverage firm. But even if Harris or Hackett’s storied scoring feats and iconic stints did not replicate on their real home courts and since hung their jerseys for other careers, their astounding on-court achievements in the PBA remain an inspiration for greatness in this basketball-crazy nation......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 30th, 2020

PBA 44 review: Same old Meralco?

You thought the PBA's 43rd season was a long one?  Yeah, the PBA's 44th season had it beat. The 2019 PBA season started at the Philippine Arena on January 13, 2019. It officially ended January 17, 2020 when Barangay Ginebra won the Governors' Cup Finals. Ironically, the Gin Kings won the first and last games of the 2019 season. Anyway, the point is the PBA's 44th season was a marathon. And before a new one starts, it's time to take a look at how all 12 teams fared in the past year. Today, we look at the Meralco Bolts.   SAME OLD, SAME OLD Meralco's season in 2019 played out pretty much the same as in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The Bolts had trouble in the Philippine Cup once again, they just can't seem to figure out how to perform in the All-Filipino, finishing in second-to-the-last place with just three wins. Meralco didn't do any better in the Commissioner's Cup, as import troubles robbed the team of a chance to make a run at the playoffs. Import troubles went away in the Governors' Cup as Meralco brought back Allen Durham. With their Best Import on deck, the Bolts went ahead and had a strong run, tying for the league's best record before finishing as the no. 2 team following the elimination round. The Bolts made a third Governors' Cup Finals in four seasons but being the no. 2 team would be their peak. Meralco lost for a third time in the Finals to Barangay Ginebra, this time falling in five games.   Meralco BOLTS in the PBA's 44th season Philippine Cup: 3-8 (11th place) Commissioner's Cup: 4-7 (9th place) Governors' Cup: 8-3 (2nd place, lost in Finals) Overall: 15 wins and 18 losses. One Finals appearance.   OUTLOOK: As long as they continue to bring back Allen Durham, the Bolts will be great in the Governors' Cup. As a matter of fact, as long as they get a good import, mainly one that plays in the middle to address their most glaring issue, the Botls are good. But it's the Philippine Cup that Meralco needs improvement. They've added local pieces led by Raymond Almazan. Will that be enough in the All-Filipino though? One way to find one. The pieces certainly fit.     — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2020

Durham aching to win elusive PBA title despite another finals heartbreak

MANILA, Philippines – A PBA crown remains elusive for Allen Durham.  Durham fell short of the grand prize anew as Meralco bowed out to Barangay Ginebra in 5 games of the Governors' Cup finals – putting to waste another conference that saw him win his third Best Import plum .  The finals loss ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 18th, 2020

The ultimate competitor : Meralco s Durham congratulates Ginebra rival Brownlee

Meralco's Allen Durham didn't take long to congratulate to rival and fellow import Justin Brownlee, following the Bolts' loss against the Barangay Ginebra in Game Five of the PBA Governor's Cup Finals on Friday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 18th, 2020

PBA Finals: 'Mature' Japeth blossoms as Ginebra anchor

Japeth Aguilar is just getting better. One of Ginebra's longtime anchors, Aguilar got his best individual award for his PBA career after winning Finals MVP in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup. Japeth was a key part in Ginebra's 4-1 series win over Meralco to regain the Governors' Cup championship, averaging 17.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks. "Coming into this series, tinake on ko yung challenge," Aguilar said. "Alam naman namin yung strength ni [Allen] Durham, so for me talgang focus lang ako sa role ko. Just thankful sa basketball gods kasi it went our way," Japeth added. As the star for the barangay with his new Finals MVP award, Aguilar keeps himself grounded, saying it's always the championship that matters most. Him winning this award, on top of a new title, is just part of a long maturation process for Japeth as a basketball player. "For me, mas importante yung goal which is the championship. Lahat kami may kanya-kanyang part sa kampeonato na to. Ginawa ko lang yung part ko," he said. "It's just maturity talaga. It's just learning, never stopping from growing sa lahat ng mga conferences na minsan we fall short of our goals. Keep on learning lang talaga," Aguilar added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2020

Still some positives for Meralco even though third time wasn t the charm

Meralco has now been at the losing end in all three of its matchups in its PBA Governors' Cup Finals trilogy opposite Ginebra. The Bolts' hearts were broken by Justin Brownlee in 2016 before falling short once more a year later. Now, head coach Norman Black and his wards lost the last three games to surrender yet another title to the Gin Kings. Nonetheless, the fact that Meralco is even here is actually something to celebrate. "We came in 11th- and eighth-place before the third conference so the addition of Raymond [Almazan], the addition of Allein [Maliksi], and of course, the return of AD (Allen Durham) have us a more competitive team and gave us a chance to win a championship," Coach Norman said. Indeed, the Bolts finished 11th at 3-8 in the Philippine Cup and then ended ninth at 4-7 in the Commissioner's Cup. With Almazan and Maliksi, as well as rookie Bong Quinto, reinforcing a core comprised of Durham, Baser Amer, Cliff Hodge, and Chris Newsome, though, they seemed to have the best shot at the franchise's first title. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't meant to be - especially after Almazan's knee injury in Game 3. Nonetheless, Meralco still scored a trophy - its third in the last four seasons. As Coach Norman put it, "The positive side is we made it to the championship which means we started the league with 12 teams and there were only two left and we were one of them." He then continued, "While that's not something that's gonna make you happy, at the same time, it's better than coming in third or fourth or fifth or sixth." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2020

Durham definitely still hungry for elusive first PBA title

Allen Durham, without a doubt, gave his all as Meralco waged war with Ginebra for the championship in the PBA Governors' Cup. Unfortunately, his all wasn't enough as the Bolts bowed once more to the Gin Kings. As always, though, Durham was gracious in defeat. "Ginebra was the better team this series," he said afterward. And even though the crowd favorites continue to have his number, the Best Import says he still has his sights set on that elusive first title. "I just want a championship. We gonna get back in the gym, they gonna get back in the gym and we're going to try our luck again," he said. He then continued, "We're gonna keep coming until we get that breakthrough." Individually, Durham has gotten all he could get as he has been Best Import in three of the four conferences he had played in. The only thing missing now for the American is a championship. "I'm determined to win a championship. With these guys, they have really grown to be my brothers and, you know, they deserve one too," he said. He then continued, "I'm definitely still hungry." Whether or not he will try again clad in Meralco's blue and orange, though, is yet to be determined. Asked about his return, he answered, "Yeah. We'll see. We'll see." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2020

Brownlee versus Durham Import matchup for the ages

The long-running marquee matchup between Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee and Meralco Bolts counterpart Allen Durham is sure to leave a lasting imprint on PBA fans......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 17th, 2020

Durham more concerned with extending Finals than record Best Import win

Meralco's Allen Durham made history Wednesday night just before Game 4 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals. Durham was awarded his third Best Import award, which moved him to second all-time for most Best Import awards in league history. Only Bobby Parks Sr., the man that the award was named after, has more. Parks Sr. won seven of them during his PBA career. But as Durham's 21 points and 27 rebounds went to waste with a bad Meralco loss in Game 4 to go down 1-3 in the Governors' Cup Finals, he was in no mood to talk about his historic feat. "It don’t mean nothing right now [Best Import]," he said. "I don’t really care about that, that’s not why I came back," Durham added. The reason Durham came back for a fourth season with Meralco is to obviously win a championship. The Bolts already lost two Governors' Cup Finals to Ginebra. They now trail a third Finals by two games. "Very frustrating. They’re a great team, they got one of the best coaches in PBA history. It’s not gonna be easy," Durham said. "I’m just worried about trying to get a win on Friday and extend the series," he added. As Meralco fights for its season, Durham says they just flat out need to play better. After an embarrassing outing in Game 4, AD urges his whole team, including himself, to dig deep. "It’s not even about Xs and Os, yeah we gotta execute but we gotta have some heart," he said. "We basically gotta have heart. It’s not even about Xs and Os on Friday, We gotta come out and have some heart, and see if we want it more," Durham added.   — Follow this writer, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2020

PBA Finals: Brownlee concedes Best Import, but Ginebra going for title

Justin Brownlee did not win Best Import for the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup. But on the night when rival Allen Durham won his record third Best Import award, it was Brownlee who played like the best in Ginebra's crucial Game 4 win in the Governors' Cup Finals. Brownlee went off for 27 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, five steals, and four blocks in the Gin Kings' 22-point win. Ginebra now leads the best-of-7 series, 3-1. "Super motivated. Ever since last year, you know we lost in this conference. We're back exactly where we want to be right now," Brownlee said, the team's motivation running deep than just missed individual awards. "We're still not satisfied. We understand Meralco is a tough team you know," he added. One win away from a third Governors' Cup title in four seasons, Brownlee says the Gin Kings are going for the kill in Game 5. "We definitely want to end this thing on Friday and not allow them to get any kind of rhythm," Brownlee said. "I'm still looking at them like a dangerous team. They probably lost some confidence but I think a turnaround coming in Friday, they're gonna be very confident in what they can do to try to force another game. We can't do that," he added. As for another Best Import award he lost to Durham, Brownlee doesn't mind. It's not like he gave up the award to an unworthy opponent. "It would have been great to win but Allen, after everything, he deserved it," Brownlee said. "Every time he's here, he elevated his team and have them playing great basketball. I think he deserves it," he said. — Follow this writer, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2020

Game 4 PBA Finals: Brownlee makes statement in Ginebra’s convincing Game 4 win

Barangay Ginebra is closing in on another PBA title at the expense of Meralco. Justin Brownlee went full beast mode in Game 4 Wednesday at the Big Dome, leading the Gin Kings’ charge in Game 4 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals and taking a convincing 94-72 win over the Bolts. After seeing rival Allen Durham win a record third Best Import award, it was Brownlee who played like the league’s top reinforcement, dominating for 27 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, five steals, and four blocks. With a 3-1 series lead, Ginebra is one win away from a third Governors’ Cup title against the Bolts in four seasons. The Gin Kings can close it out Friday at the MOA Arena. Game 4 started as a defensive slugfest with the opening period ending with an unsightly score of 14-all. But as Brownlee's offense picked up, he scored 15 points in the second, so did Ginebra's. The Gin Kings poured it on the rest of the way, leading by as many as 27 points, as the Bolts' offense never got it going. After Brownlee, Stanley Pringle continued to make his case as a possible Finals MVP with 21 points and seven rebounds in a starting role. Scottie Thompson likewise had a good game, dropping 16 points in the victory. Meralco's shooting has abandoned the team with the Bolts shooting just 37 percent from the field, including 3/26 from deep. Allen Durham was the high man with 21 points and 27 rebounds while Chris Newsome added 12. Raymond Almazan, suffering from a lateral meniscus tear on his left knee, started for the Bolts and finished with 12 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes.   The Scores: Ginebra 94 - Brownlee 27, Pringle 21, Thompson 16, Tenorio 8, Dillinger 7, Aguilar 5, Caguioa 5, Mariano 3, Slaughter 2, Caperal 0, Chan 0, Dela Cruz 0. Meralco 72 - Durham 21, Newsome 12, Almazan 12, Quinto 7, Salva 6, Maliksi 6, Caram 4, Amer 2, Hodge 2, Faundo 0, Jackson 0, Pinto 0. Quarterscores: 14-14, 42-31, 70-55, 94-72. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020

PBA Finals: We were very methodical tonight -- Cone on breaking down Meralco

Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone couldn’t help but smile with how the Gin Kings executed their game plan to a tee. Slowly building momentum from a low-scoring and sluggish first quarter, Ginebra worked its way to building enough cushion in the next two periods before cruising to a 94-72 win over Meralco in Game 4 of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals for a 3-1 series lead on Wednesday at the Big Dome. “I thought we did a good, methodical job,” said Cone, who is a win away from steering the Gin Kings to its third season-ending title in four years.   From a 14-14 first quarter stalemate, the Gin Kings found their range in the second canto with Justin Brownlee dropping 15 of his 27 points as Ginebra shot 11-of-19 from the field while the Bolts struggled with their shooting with a 8-of-22 clip and missing all of their nine three-point attempts in the period. The Gin Kings sustained their momentum in the second half to break the game wide open, 90-63, off a Mark Caguioa jumper with 3:33 remaining in the ball game. “We were very methodical tonight in breaking them down on the offensive side,” said Cone. Ginebra pounced on Meralco’s sour shooting especially from beyond the arc – a hellish 3-of-26 clip - and was patient in executing its offense.   “They were 1-14 from the 3-point line in the first half so they had no rhythm,” Cone pointed out. “We were very methodical out there. We weren't rushing. We built the lead slowly then kept it when we got it.” Cone also lauded his team for its defense on Best Import winner Allen Durham, who finished with 21 points on 9-of-23 shooting. “We did a great job against Durham. We held him to eight (sic) points at halftime, that's amazing,” said Cone of Durham, who was held down to nine points in the first two periods. “If you're gonna do that to a player like that, you better win the basketball game. Team-wise, I thought we played him well tonight.” The Gin Kings can close the series on Friday at the MOA Arena.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2020