FOR years, Allein Maliksi has patterned his game on veteran marksman Dondon Hontiveros.
Now he’s more than happy to make the most of the chance to be the Cebuano hotshot's heir apparent in the national team program.
Hontiveros himself sees great things for Gilas with Maliksi on board, as he believes the national team rookie can be the guy who'll fill up the void that he left as the designated sharpshooter.
"Maganda rin na nandyan si Allein. Nakikita ko na si Allein before and it's really good for him to finally get an opportunity," Hontiveros said when asked about who he sees as the guy to fill the role of a shooter, something he's done with the national team for years.
"Nakahanap siya ng bahay niya sa Star and now it has paid off being part sa Gilas. Nakikita ko si Allein na magiging yung shooter natin. Pinakita niya yung performance niya nung All Filipino," he added.
Maliksi was naturally delighted with the anointment from the person he looks up to in his career.
"Overwhelming and siyempre nakaka-pressure din kahit papaano kasi si Kuya Dondon, kumbaga isa na siya sa legend sa PBA," Maliksi said.
"Coming from him na marinig yun, it puts a lot of pressure to perform and to level up your game sa dadating na liga and mga games," he added.
A late addition to the squad after Paul Lee begged off due to a recurring injury, Maliksi vows to do everything to prove his worth with the squad.
With a guard-heavy line-up, Maliksi seems to be the perfect fit for the team with his length on the wings and his ability to heat up in a hurry.
"Kaya din naman ako napunta dito dahil sa game na nilalaro ko sa Purefoods. Kung ano yung role ko dun, ganun pa rin naman," the former UST standout said.
"Tinanong ko si coach Josh (Reyes) kung anong magiging role ko, sabi niya, 'you need to make your shots and to help spread the floor.' So kailangan ko rin maging consistent shooting, and maka-help sa ibang bagay like defense."