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    Meralco's loss is Gilas gain as Maliksi, Almazan, Newsome join pool

    Aug 17, 2022
    Allein Maliksi Marcio Lassiter Meralco vs SMB
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    DESPITE weary and banged-up, the Meralco trio of Allein Maliksi, Raymond Almazan, and Chris Newsome are all looking forward to joining the Gilas Pilipinas pool in training for the coming fourth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

    The three became available for the national pool after the Bolts went down to the San Miguel Beermen in the deciding Game 7 of their best-of-seven semifinals on Wednesday, 100-89.

    [Read: San Miguel rips Meralco in do-or-die Game 7]

    Almazan, Maliksi, and Newsome were one in saying it was an honor being included as part of the huge 24-man pool selected by the Gilas coaching staff under Chot Reyes.

    “Everytime naman na may invitation ka sa national team, it’s an honor to be a part of it,” said Maliksi.

    “Happy ako about that. Same feeling nung una akong tinawag sa Gilas kasi iba yung nagse-serve ka sa country mo,” added Almazan.

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    Maliksi and Almazan had been part of Gilas Pilipinas previously, while Newsome will be in the 5-on-5 pool for the first time after previously suiting up for the national 3x3 men’s team that won the gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

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    “I’m excited to finally wear that jersey for 5x5. Hopefully, I can make that final roster, that final pool. I think it will be a great experience for me, it will be a great experience for a lot of the guys who never donned the uniform. Again, it’s for the country and I take it with utmost honor and respect whenever it comes to serving our country,” said Newsome.

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    But all three would want to have some extra rest for a while following the grueling semifinals series the Bolts had against the top seeded Beermen.

    “Siyempre kailangan muna ng pahinga para ma-clear yung mind mo kasi pangit namang pumunta sa practice na masakit yung puso namin kasi talo e,” said Almazan. “So kailangan naming tanggalin, pagpag ba.”

    Gilas Pilipinas already began its daily practices at the Meralco gym last Monday and will be travelling to Beirut by next week for its August 25 game against Wael Araki and Lebanon.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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