Basketball player Allen Durham will be going to Japan for his next stint but will always have the Philippines hold a special place in his heart.
“I’ve got some time on my contract in Japan [but] the PBA is like my second home,” he told reporters on Friday night, shortly after his former club bowed to TNT, 111-104, in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
“The Philippines is like my second home. You’ll never know,” added the American, who now backstops Ryukyu Golden Kings in the B.League.
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Durham’s PBA Journey through the years
His stay in the Philippines started back in 2014 as a Barako Bull Energy Import. During his stay on the team, he averaged 32 points, 24 rebounds, and 10 assists that help propel the Energy to their second win in seven outings.
His next remarkable performance was seen as he became part of Meralco Bolts in 2016. He stood out as he wore a mask while playing to help heal his nose injury against the Alaska Aces. Despite wearing a black mask, he was able to deliver 32-point, 12-rebound and five-assist stats. He was also awarded the Best Import of the Conference despite the Bolts’ unable to clinch the championship in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.
He went to Uruguay soon after but came back to the Bolts by 2017 through 2018. This saw tough times but when he came back still after a stint in Japan. He still went to the Bolts from 2019 through 2020 and this saw recognition as PBA Best Import of the Conference as he did in 2017 and this time in 2019.
He looks back to all those times when his team was denied the championship by Barangay Ginebra. He shares a light moment ahead of the Gin Kings’ clash with sister team San Miguel.
“We talked a little bit. I mean, it’s all love with Brownlee,” Durham said of the beloved Ginebra import who also has become his source of torment in the PBA.
“You know, as a competitor, you always want to play against the best—and he’s the best. I got nothing but respect for him, for sure,” he added.
Durham was succeeded by Panamanian ace Tony Bishop Jr. who also steered Meralco to the Finals. The Bolts are now led by KJ McDaniels, an NBA veteran.
Hopefully, we’ll get to see Durham again soon with the Meralco Bolts. He has shown how he loves the game and loves his Philippine team in equal measure. Would you like us to feature other imports past, present and potential future? Just let us know who you’d like to have on our pages. Comment on the box below and we’ll attend to this right away. Cheers!