Sizzling Maliksi leads Star past TNT in thriller
Star relied on a fast one as it dispatched Talk N Text 96-88 in a thriller of a game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Allein Maliksi went on a tear for the Hotshots, tying a PBA record with most triples without a miss with six and finishing with a career-high 29 points as they improved to 2-4.
Down 73-66 to start the fourth, Maliksi immediately announced his takeover with a triple and a few possessions more tied the game at 79-79 at the 7:25 mark.
Hotshots head coach Jason Webb said he found the defensive intensity they have been looking for since the start of the season and he found an unlikely hero in Maliksi.
“We were able to get the key stops, that was something we couldn’t get at the start of the conference,” Webb said whose team trailed 31-13 early in the game.
“Allein just played solid, we had an idea that one thing we were going to struggle is scoring because the import is new and Allein kept us alive and shot the lights out.”
Ricardo Ratliffe just arrived at the Hotshots camp Saturday to replace Denzel Bowles who had to go back home to the States when a close relative of his passed away.
Maliksi also put the cherry on top of the Hotshots’ comeback when his sixth triple swished in from the top of the key, giving Star the 92-87 lead with 1:05 remaining.
Ratliffe had 23 points and 13 rebounds for Star while James Yap added 10 points.
Jayson Castro led the 2-3 Tropang Texters with 18 points and five assists.
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