Delroy James breathes life to Meralco's playoff hopes
MANILA, Philippines – What a time for Delroy James to get his first PBA win.
James gave Meralco another shot for a quarterfinals berth in the PBA Commissioner's Cup after starring in a 95-91 win over San Miguel on Wednesday, July 17.
Absorbing back-to-back losses in his first two games in the league, James made sure he would not be denied this time by scoring two straight buckets in the final two minutes to break a 91-91 deadlock and secure the win.
He finished with 34 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks as Meralco ended a five-game skid to finish the elimination round at 4-7.
But more importantly, Meralco set up a playoff date with Alaska for the last quarterfinals seat.
"It's my first win. Last game was a tough game because it felt like a win but we lost. It felt like a win because I felt that our team, we played really well but we lost," James said as they rebounded from a 92-93 loss to NorthPort 5 days ago.
"It's good to take this win, continue playing in the conference and then try to get another one."
And as faith would have it, James captured the victory at the expense of fellow New York native Chris McCullough, whom he faced a couple of times back at home.
It was McCullough who guarded James in his last two shots and James even forced a crucial turnover on McCullough in the final minute.
But James downplayed their individual matchup.
"I know he's a hell of a player. I don't think it was a factor of us going back and forth, I think it's just the nature of the league that the import will be import versus import but it's other players out there," he said.
"I think us playing a five-on-five game on both sides just proved to be a good game."
James would need to replicate his performance as Meralco and Alaska tangle at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, July 19. – Rappler.com