Meralco outlasted the KJ McDaniels-powered TNT KaTropa in 5 semifinal games to advance into the championship round of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup and arrange another Finals clash with 2016 and 2017 season-ending conference titlists Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel.
Leading the charge for the surging Bolts is 2-time Best Import awardee Allen Durham.
The 31-year old Durham, who finished 3rd in the stats race for the Best Import award, posted averages of 30.9 points, 15.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists to anchor the title run of a rejigged Meralco squad which now boasts of former national team players Raymond Almazan and Allen Maliksi.
Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone knows that the team will be up against a totally different squad when the ‘Trilogy’ kicks off on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We’ve been reading in the newspapers and online that they are obviously a motivated team and we are going to have to find a way to elevate our game to meet that energy that they are going to come with,” said Cone shortly after the Gin Kings’ Friday afternoon practice.
“We know it’s going to be there. We are apprehensive about it, that’s for sure,” he added.
The 2-time Grand Slam champion mentor admitted that stopping the bull-strong Durham will be the team’s top agenda in the upcoming series.
“They are highly-motivated and Durham is just a beast, and playing great basketball. Probably the toughest match-up in the league right now. No one can quite figure out how to guard him or how to stop him from doing the things he does. That’s our challenge.”