Best Import candidate Allen Durham looked at the Game 1 stats and can’t help but agree that the Meralco Bolts were outplayed by Barangay Ginebra at the start of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Friday in Lucena.
The Bolts, the sixth best rebounding team in the tournament, were badly beaten off the boards by the defending champions, 60-40 in the series-opening game witnessed by a jampacked crowd at the Quezon Convention Center.
Ginebra’s tall frontline of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar made life difficult for the hulking Durham.
Slaughter used his size to score 14 points, grab 8 rebounds and add 2 blocks, while the athletic Aguilar added 15 markers and 3 swats.
Durham finished the game with a near triple-double of 27 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists, but the Grace Bible College standout had to go through Ginebra’s rock-solid defense for offense.
“Like the whole conference, we’ve been rebouding very well. Then for whatever reason, we let them get 22 offensive rebounds. We just didn’t play our game and it showed. They beat us by a lot so we need to make sure we crash the glass,” stressed Durham, whose team bowed to Ginebra, 102-87 in Game 1.
But Fil-American guard Chris Newsome isn’t all too concerned with the Game 1 setback, confident that the Bolts can learn from their mistakes and make the quick turnaround come Sunday.
“Their defense collpases every time AD (Allen Durham) gets the ball. And I honestly believe if we hit those threes, coach Norman (Black) won’t have any problem with it,” shared Newsome.
“But that’s just something we have to learn, get back to drawing board and then find a way to correct it in Game 2.”
Game 2 action shifts to Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. with Meralco looking to level the series at 1-1.
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