ALLEIN Maliksi rued the missed opportunity of facing Star in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals after helping Blackwater move on the verge of an upset over Meralco in their quarterfinal matchup.
The new Elite star, acquired from the Hotshots in a trade late in the eliminations, admitted he was looking forward to face his former team in the Final Four as Blackwater dragged the Bolts to a deciding game following a shock 92-91 win last Tuesday.
The eighth-seeded Elite, who are in the same playoff bracket as the fourth-seeded Hotshots, fell short as they lost to the Bolts, 104-96, in the sudden death.
“Oo naman (nag-look forward ako),” Maliksi said after the game. “Hindi ko naman itatago yung ganung feeling na…yun nga, sabi ko nga, baka si God na yung gumagawa ng way na ka-bracket namin ang Star tapos nanalo kami ng first game, baka may pag-asa pa kami maka-upset tonight.”
“Pero yun lang, baka kulang pa din talaga yung experience namin as a team,” he was quick to add.
Maliksi, though, is hardly concerned of his former team’s fortunes this conferences.
“I’m over it na, kasi nasa new team na ako,” Maliksi said. “Bakit pa ako manghihinayang dun sa dati kong team na nasa semis sila. I don’t care about that anymore."
“Yung concern ko na is ma-help yung team ko at ma-help ko yung teammates ko na makapunta sa semis,” he added.
The Elite showed some flashes of being a Final Four contender as they threatened to pull off another upset against the Bolts, leading by as many as 12 points at the half, before folding down the stretch.
“Nakakahinayang kasi isang quarter lang natalo kami,” Maliksi, who scored the game-winning basket in the first game, said. “Siguro kailangan pa namin mag-work as a team and mas maging better as a team.”
So dragging the top-seeded Bolts to the limit hardly makes it an overachievement as far as Maliksi is concerned.
“Syempre wala naman tayong masasabi about overachieving kasi syempre, lahat naman tayo, gusto natin na mas may mapuntahan,” the University of Santo Tomas product said. “Pwede bang mag-overachieve ka na semis ka lang o quarterfinals ka lang? Syempre gusto mo makapunta o makuha yung championship.”
“So siguro may reason ‘tong situation na ‘to na it’s either learning process or yung mga bagay namin na dapat ma-adjust for next season,” he added.