PBA: Allein Maliksi says Converge’s Barkley Ebona intentionally hurt him, other Meralco players
MANILA, Philippines–Meralco’s Allein Maliksi accused Converge of intentionally hurting them during the tense 132-129 overtime victory fashioned out by the Bolts on Friday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Things reached the boiling point in the final seconds of the contest when Barkley Ebona fouled Maliksi with a clothesline, prompting the latter to respond by grabbing the FiberXers’ big man’s neck before being pacified by cooler heads.
Ebona later apologized when he caught up with Maliksi at the Big Dome hallway. But the Meralco cager, who got tossed with a Flagrant Foul 2, was still not in a forgiving mood.
“If he didn’t do it on purpose, [it would be fine], but I don’t think that’s the case because he was not going for the ball and he was really going for the face. You can foul me on the shoulder or other parts of the body, but he was going for my face,” Maliksi said.
He went on to say that there were other incidents that didn’t sit well with him and the team.
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“The whole game, he was hurting [Meralco import KJ McDaniels]. He was tripping KJ. He was playing dirty,” he continued. “And even before that, [Converge coach Aldin Ayo] told [Meralco’s Toto Jose] that they felt that he was hurting their import. So he told Jose that they will hurt our import. That’s what happened.
“He was doing it the whole game. It’s his thing, but for me, it’s not okay,” Maliksi concluded.
Ebona, who only got a Flagrant Foul 1, defended himself saying that the hit was purely incidental, even saying that he was surprised not only with what he did but with Maliksi’s reaction.
“The instruction was to try and get the ball before going for a foul,” Ebona explained. “That time, we obviously wanted to get the ball, but we wasted enough time which forced us to make a duty foul.
“But it was not my intention to hit Allein in the neck, it just happens that he was trying to get out of the double and avoid committing a turnover. It was purely accidental,” he added.
“I didn’t react [after the foul] because I thought it was just an ordinary foul. But I was shocked with how he reacted.”
Both players are expected to be summoned by the PBA Commissioner’s Office, with at least corresponding fines based on the infractions.