Maliksi hopes rediscovered form will help rewrite Governors’ Cup script
Norman Black isn’t the only member of Meralco who thinks the Bolts have what it takes to rewrite a recurring PBA Governors’ Cup script.
Allein Maliksi is just as optimistic.
The 6-foot-3 wing had 24 points to lead Meralco to a deciding 94-81 Game 5 victory over Magnolia in their semifinal showdown at Smart Araneta Coliseum late Friday night.
The victory set a championship showdown against defending champion Barangay Ginebra for the season-ending crown. And anyone acquainted with the season-ending tournament’s recent history knows this is nothing new—The Gin Kings and the Bolts have squared off three times in the last four stagings of the Governors’ Cup.
Ginebra won all those duels.
Meralco, however, is confident the result will change this time.
“I’m positive that this time is gonna be a different story. We just need to prepare thoroughly to get the victory, the first championship for Meralco,” Maliksi said.
His optimism echoes that of Black, who said “I like my chances this time around.”
He’s gonna like it even better if Maliksi picks up from his efficient Game 5 performance against Magnolia, where he converted nine of his 13 looks after struggling in the past games against the Hotshots’ defense.
“Ever since we began playing them, they’ve always been physical. They were always out to deny me the ball as much as possible. I was really limited,” Maliksi said.
“But I told myself that I’ll find ways to be open. I’m just thankful that coach Norman and my teammates kept on trusting me, involving me to get my touches and to enable me to penetrate, letting me play my game unlike in my previous ones where I was just standing, waiting for the ball to come.”
That’s basically Maliksi’s checklist as he goes into yet another showdown with the Gin Kings.
“It will be tougher,” he said of the crowd darlings. “You saw (Justin) Brownlee—47 points in a closeout game. Scottie (Thompson)—he’s playing so well and is in the running for Best Player of the Conference.”
“They’re a complete team. They’re big with (Christian) Standhardinger. We’re glad they’re without Stanley (Pringle), but Jeff (Chan) and even Nard (Pinto) are making contributions. That’s still quite the lineup,” he added. “Oh and they have [coach] Tim Cone, as well.”
But the Bolts’ believe they can pull off a surprise.
“We’ll do everything to prepare. Hopefully, we can snag one over them,” Maliksi said. INQ