Balik-import Allen Durham tries to finish what he failed to accomplish for Meralco the last time out as he embarks on another tour of duty, as the Bolts battle Blackwater today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Durham, the reigning Best Import in the season-ending conference, and the Bolts meet the Elite at 4:15 p.m. while Rain or Shine and GlobalPort clash in the main game at 7 p.m.
Meralco mentor Norman Black said the team is upbeat with Durham returning to their fold.
“We are looking forward to getting started this conference. Our focus will be on maintaining the improvement we made on defense in the last conference while trying to be more efficient on the offensive end of the court,” said Black.
“Having Allen (Durham) back in the team gives us a lot of optimism and should give us a big lift,” he added.
Durham averaged 29.4 points, 15.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists in last year’s Governors Cup. Meralco lost to Ginebra in the finals.
The Bolts finished with a 7-4 mark in the Commissioner’s Cup to reach the quarterfinals but lost to sister team TNT KaTropa in the best-of-three quarterfinals series.
Blackwater, on the other hand, tries to bounce back from a forgettable Commissioner’s Cup campaign as the team finished with a mediocre 2-9 win-loss slate.
The Elite also missed the playoffs in last Governor’s Cup with a horrible 1-10 slate. They did better in the Philippine Cup with a 5-6 mark.
Newcomer import Trevis Simpson will spearhead Blackwater’s campaign this conference.
Meanwhile, the Elasto Painters are parading the 24-year-old import JD Weatherspoon against the Batang Pier.
“Our import is adjusting well to our system. Weatherspoon is athletic and can play the big and wing spots,” said Garcia, whose team has yet to beat GlobalPort this season.
“We are hoping to break that streak. We have to try to limit the scoring of their guards,” he added.
Batang Pier will bank on import Jabril Trawick and on the dynamic backcourt tandem of Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle.
Arnold Van Opstal debuts for GlobalPort. He was acquired during the break in exchange for Von Pessumal, who joined San Miguel Beer.