Meralco's Allen Durham goes for the basket against Blackwater's Kyle Pascual (32) and John Erram during the PBA Governor's Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum, July 21, 2017 (Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Ni Ernest Hernandez

NAKATUON ang atensiyon ng 2017 PBA Governors Cup sa target na grand slam ng San Miguel Beermen at pagdepensa sa titulo ng Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings. Walang masyadong ingay, ngunit, unti-unti dumadaloy ang interest sa Meralco Bolts.

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“We are ok with that, they are very good teams and they deserve the spotlight that they get. We are just trying to win games like everyone else,” pahayag ni coach Norman Black.

Sa pangunguna ng nagbabalik import na si Allen Durham, kumpiyansa si Black na may laban sila sa pedestal ng tagumpay.

“We do have the reigning best import and that gives us the opportunity to do well this conference,” aniya. “There is a lot of optimism going to the third conference and the players gain a lot of confidence because of his presence. “ Umaangat na ang kalidad ng laro ni Baser Amer, sumasailalim sa pagsasanay ni Jimmy Alapag, at lutang ito sa matikas na panalo ng Bolts kontra Blackwater Elite. Hataw si Amer ng 20 puntos, walong assist at anim na rebound.

“You cannot dismiss the fact that Baser Amer is not the same player that he was last year. He is a much, much-improved player now and he gives us leadership, production offensively. His improvement helped the team improve.”

Bukod kay Amer, dagdag puwersa rin ang sharpshooter na si Garvo Lanete. Laban sa Blackwater, naisalpak niya ang limang three-pointer.

“What we wanted to do is to get more perimeter shooting because we felt last year that a lot of times teams would just gang up on him and double team him every time he touches the ball. That is why we got a very promising young player in Garvo Lanete,” sambit ni Black.

Hindi naman nagpahuli si Durham sa naisalpak na 18 puntos at 21 rebound para sa Bolts. Aniya, ang pagbabalewala sa kanila ay isang bentahe para makalarga sila nang tama.

“Let everyone keep saying that. That is cool,” sambit ni Durham.

“I like to be the dark horse and we keep doing what we do, keep on playing bolts basketball and we will see in the end.”