Mallari seizes chance to dominate
BOCAUE – The monkey is finally off of Mahindra’s back.
Alex Mallari took charge in the endgame as the Floodbuster crawled back from 15-points down for the 97-93 win over Blackwater on Christmas day.
“We were just trying to be the veterans of the team and lead the team to victory,” he said, as he and Ryan Araña willed their side to the victory, their first in six tries.
Looking back, Mallari marveled at Mahindra persistence to recover from a 79-64 hole midway in the fourth.
“The sweeter part about it is that we were down by how many again? Fifteen? Wow, I did not know that was 15,” he said. “We just kept pushing, and keep pushing. The lanes just opened up and I just kept attacking. We try to implement the Houston Rockets-style offense and that has been helping us.”
The Floodbuster closed the regulation on a 19-4 run to tie the game at 83, and could even had the win earlier had Nico Elorde and Nico Salva sank their late-game attempts.
Mallari knew that it was only a matter of time before Mahindra got that elusive win, and it came tonight, with the lane free for the 6-foot-4 swingman to seize.
“They were trying to keep me right but I kept somehow going to the left. The lanes were just open and coach told me that I keep attacking,” he said.
Mallari finished the game with a career-high tying 23 points, 13 coning in the fourth and overtime periods, on top of 11 rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
With the breakthrough win in the bag, he is optimistic that somehow, the Floodbuster can make a late run especially when the new year comes.
“We are starting to figure things out and put the right guys on the right spot,” Mallari said.