Durham, Amer rally Meralco past NLEX
Allen Durham and Baser Amer teamed up in the fourth quarter to rally Meralco past NLEX, 108-105, in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Durham and Amer accounted for 12 of Meralco’s final 15 points inside the last four minutes as the Bolts came back from 16 down in the final frame to resuscitate their flatlining quarterfinals bid.
“We’ve struggled throughout the game. We’ve been struggling a lot lately especially when we came back from Thailand,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.
“Our defense is really not on point right now but the players did not give up in this game. They kept fighting until the end and the result is we got a win tonight to keep our flickering hopes alive for the playoffs.”
The reigning two-time Best Import came alive in the second half where he erupted for 30 points after just scoring six in the first two quarters while Amer fired 17 of his 22 in the final frame, including the game-tying three-point play and game-winning triple with 13.6 seconds remaining.
“AD (Durham) did not play well in the first half but he really came through in the second half and showed determination to will us to victory and Baser Amer really hit some big shots down the stretch,” Black praised after his team won only its second game in eight tries.
Durham also collected 18 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks with his last rejection making sure extra time won’t be necessary after he spiked NLEX guard Juami Tiongson’s potential game-tying 3-pointer as time ran out.
The Road Warriors were still ahead by eight, 101-93, after a layup by Aaron Fuller with 3:30 remaining.
Fuller kept the Bolts at bay with timely baskets but he was rendered helpless when the Road Warriors needed him most after he fouled out with the game tied at 105 with still 46.2 ticks to go.
Without Fuller and star guards Kiefer Ravena (suspended) and Kevin Alas (ACL), NLEX struggled to get anything going offensively with crucial turnovers and empty trips.
NLEX slid to seventh at 4-5 after blowing a golden opportunity to seize solo sixth place.
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