Proven ‘winner’ Alex Mallari brings leadership to table at Phoenix
MANILA, Philippines—It cannot be denied that Alex Mallari has a wealth of experience in his relatively young PBA career.
Mallari was drafted third overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft by Petron but was not able to complete a full season with the Blaze Boosters and he was dealt to sister team San Mig Coffee.
But it was in Magnolia that Mallari blossomed into one of the finest role players as an off guard leading to four straight titles including the Grand Slam.
And it’s this quality that got Phoenix head coach Louie Alas’s attention when the Fuel Masters traded for Mallari.
“Mallari’s a veteran and he’s a winner,” said Alas Thursday at Gatorade Hoops Center during the PBA Draft Combine.
Mallari was traded to the Kia franchise in 2016 and was then dealt to NLEX where he averaged 6.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in the Governors’ Cup.
For the 6-foot-4 wingman, getting Alas’ nod not just through his play but also for his experience immediately gave him a bit of pressure to contribute to the Fuel Masters.
“That’s a lot of pressure I guess, I value that stuff coming from him,” said Mallari. “I had a little bit of leadership experience with Kia so it shouldn’t be new to me, I can give them that. I’m just here to do my job.”
Mallari already owns four titles, and that’s four more than what the Phoenix franchise has, but he’s also excited with paying with Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright.
“The first thing I thought about was Calvin and everything he brings,” said Mallari. “He has this unorthodox wild chaotic play. I’m actually excited to play with Matt and the new guys and they’ve got a lot of talent for sure.”
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