Cliff Hodge takes blame for late game blunder in Meralco loss
MANILA, Philippines—Cliff Hodge looked like he was in the perfect position to save Meralco in the pivotal Game 3 of its five-game semifinals series against TNT in the PBA Governors’ Cup Thursday.
With TNT ahead by 3, the Bolts had a chance to tie at 100. Allen Durham had the ball at the top of the key and immediately passed to an open white jersey who happened to be Hodge, who wasn’t even in the game but was on the sidelines giving instructions.
“I just want us to make a shot that’ll put us to overtime,” said Hodge when asked what he was doing flailing his arms while standing near the Meralco coaches with around 10 seconds left in the game.
“It was about 10 seconds and I was hoping someone’s going to pull a shot. I was hoping we would’ve made a shot to put it to overtime.”
Hodge, who had three points and three rebounds, owned up to the bone-head play that allowed TNT to take a 2-1 series lead after the 101-97 win.
“AD saw my jersey and he thought I was on the court, so it’s my fault,” he said.
Durham had a monster game of 32 points, 19 rebounds, and seven assists but that one turnover was something of a blot in his impressive game.
The two-time PBA Best Import said he saw Hodge with his hands up and that he immediately thought that he had an open teammate.
“I had the ball and I just saw a white jersey from my periphery, Cliff was over there with his hands up,” said Durham. “I don’t know what happened, but I just saw it so I tried to swing the ball but he wasn’t in the playing court.”
“It was unfortunate, a crucial time of the game but it didn’t come to just one play. Even though we could’ve tied it or something if we made a shot, we got to be better before it gets down to a play like that,” added Durham.
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