TNT coach Nash Racela kept a list of Blackwater players marked as dangerous and highlighted on that piece of paper was Allein Maliksi.
The Blackwater gunslinger took a more active role in offense and led the Elite to their first franchise victory over the KaTropa, 104-98, in overtime in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night.
“I’m focusing more on leading this team to develop good decision-making,” said Maliksi, after knocking down nine of his game high 28 points in extra time, including a turnaround jumper over Terrence Romeo that sealed the outcome.
Alaska opened its campaign in this tournament with style, hammering out an 80-72 victory over Meralco in the other match.
Import Mike Harris had 23 points as the Aces pinned a second straight loss on the Bolts.
Maliksi credited Blackwater import Henry Walker for encouraging him to take a new approach on the floor.
“He keeps on telling me to be aggressive and play my game,” Maliksi said.
The former FEU frontline duo of Mac Belo and Raymar Jose were also instrumental late in the fourth while guards Mike DiGregorio and Mike Cortez had their share of brilliance along with Nards Pinto, who drilled a three for an eight-point Elite cushion late in overtime.
The victory was the result of Blackwater’s stints in tournaments in Indonesia, where they won a championship, and Macau prior to the conference.
“Those trips to Indonesia and Macau really helped a lot to develop our chemistry,” said Blackwater coach Bong Ramos, tears rolling down his cheeks.
“These are tears of joy. We really sacrificed a lot.”
The Elite are coming off a dismal 1-10 record in the Philippine Cup.
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