Third time's not the charm for Allen Durham and Meralco.
The Bolts once more lost to tormentor Barangay Ginebra in Round 3 of their battle for the PBA Governors' Cup supremacy and this only makes Durham and Co.'s hunger for that elusive title stronger.
"Obviously I want a championship, it won't matter who it's against," said Durham, who will settle for runner-up honors to the Gin Kings for the third time in four years and go home with this third Best Import award. "We'll go back to the gym, we're gonna try our luck again, we're gonna keep going until we get that breakthrough."
He felt the Bolts should get a payoff for all their hard work.
"I'm determined to win a championship with these guys. They're grown to be my brothers, they deserve to get one, too. We'll talk with management and stuff like that, obviously get some time pass. I'm definitely still hungry."
Durham conceded that Barangay Ginebra outplayed the Bolts and deserved to win the top prize.
"Ginebra, they were the better team in this series. We definitely had opportunities in Game 1, opportunities in Game 3 and stuff that we just didn't capitalize, we couldn't get the 50/50 things so hats off to them; they played tough all the way, even in the game that we did win, they played tough until the final buzzer."
Durham had to carry much load in the last few games of the series with big man Raymond Almazan sidelined by a knee injury. The 6-foot-8 World Cup campaigner sustained a lateral meniscus tear early in Game 3, played on one good leg in Game 4 and sat it out in the fifth.
"He would definitely help us with rebounds, he'd get offensive rebounds and second chance points," the three-time Best Import said of Meralco's mid-season trade acquisition who was seen as solution to the team's big man problems.
"That's why we had Raymond. He was cleaning it up and helped over, he was there kinda cleaning it up and we're doing that all conference. So to lose a player of that caliber, defiinitely it hurt us," said Durham.
On his Twitter account, Durham posted a photo of him and rival import Justin Brownlee in a hug while white confetti fell in celebration of Ginebra's triumph.
The caption said it all: Congrats @magicbrownlee32, the ultimate competitor. This ain't over."(OL)