PBA: Durham's 30-20 carries Meralco back to the semis

Paul Lintag on Nov 09, 2018 09:34 PM
PBA: Durham's 30-20 carries Meralco back to the semis
Down to 1-6 after six straight losses in the elimination round, the Bolts have turned it around, winning six straight to advance.

That's six straight knockout games surived by Meralco.

The Bolts are somehow back in the semifinals of the PBA Governors' Cup after scoring a pulsating 108-103 overtime win over no. 2 Phoenix in the knockout quarterfinals Friday at the Big Dome.

Meralco erased the Fuel Masters' twice-to-beat edge in the quarters to make the Governors' Cup semis for the third straight year.

Down to 1-6 after six straight losses in the elimination round, the Bolts have turned it around, winning six straight to advance.

Meralco will now take on no. 2 Alaska in a best-of-5 series in the next round.

Two-time Best Import Allen Durham had a monster game, finishing with 32 points, 21 rebounds, and nine assists.

He led Meralco's comeback from a 16-point halftime deficit, allowing the Bolts to be in the game by the start of the fourth period. 

Still, Phoenix would regain control and the Fuel Masters were actually up, 91-84, with three minutes to go in regulation but the Bolts unloaded a 10-0 run for a three-point lead with 19 seconds left.

Jason Perkins saved Phoenix with a booming triple to tie and the Fuel Masters stopped Durham on the other end to force overtime.

In the extra session, Baser Amer drilled back-to-back triples in a sizzling 8-0 start for Meralco. Calvin Abueva responded with five straight points to cut Phoenix's deficit to two points but Durham proved to be steady from the free throw line in the end as the Bolts pulled off the win.

"What a hill that we had to climb to get to this point," head coach Norman Black said.

"Every game for the last six was pressure-laden. There was not much room for error both on offense and defense. I'm really happy for the players," he added.

After Durham, Amer came through for Meralco with 26 points, 23 in the second half and overtime. Chris Newsome added another 19 for the Bolts.

For Phoenix, their breakout conference ends in disappointment. Despite taking the no. 2 seed and a twice-to-beat advantage, the Fuel Masters remain winless in the playoffs in their franchise history, going down to 0-6 overall.

Perkins led the way with 24 points for Phoenix while Matthew Wright added 20. Import Eugene Phelps scored 18 points to go along with 23 rebounds, and seven assists.

 

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