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    Maliksi sees Cone on opposite side in finals five years after San Mig grand slam

    Dec 24, 2019

    ANTIPOLO – Allein Maliksi gets a chance at his first championship since the grand slam season of San Mig Coffee in 2014 following the Meralco's Game Five win over TNT in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals on Monday night.

    The Bolts’ 89-78 victory over TNT sealed their entry into the finals where they will face Barangay Ginebra for the Governors’ Cup crown, bringing Maliksi back in the finals five years after the Mixers completed the grand slam at the expense of Rain or Shine.

    Ironically, Maliksi will be playing against a Barangay Ginebra team coached by Tim Cone, who brought that 2014 grand slam to San Mig Coffee.

    “Excited at happy. ‘Yun ang goal ng team na ‘to. Thankful ako na nalipat ako dito at nakatulong ako sa kanila para makabalik sa finals,” said Maliksi.

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    Maliksi scored 11 points and played a key role in the Bolts’ win over TNT. The Bolts were down, 42-35, late in the second quarter when Maliksi scored five straight points in one critical juncture to help Meralco regain the lead, 50-49.

    Allen Durham, Chris Newsome, and Bong Quinto later took over in the fourth to maintain Meralco’s lead until the final buzzer.

    “Ang mentality ko talaga, makatulong sa main guys eh. Ako, nung dumating sa akin, I’ll do my best lang talaga kung ano ‘yung matutulong ko sa team. ‘Yun na lang talaga,” said Maliksi.

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      Maliksi said returning back to the finals after five years brought a unique feeling after missing out on the opportunity to contend for the title for so long. And Maliksi also wants to experience another one this time with Meralco.

      “After five years, nakabalik. Siyempre masarap sa pakiramdam na nandoon ka na uli at meron ka uli chance na makapag-champion. I felt na it’s a different feeling na makapanalo ng championship. Sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam. Lahat ng hardwork mo, sacrifices mo, masusulit talaga kapag napanalo mo ‘yung championship,” said Maliksi.

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      The former University of Santo Tomas standout, though, said the road is laden with peril for the Bolts.

      “’Yun ‘yung first step na makabalik sa finals,” said Maliksi. “Thankful kami na na-achieve namin ‘yun. Pero hindi pa tapos ‘yung trabaho na makapanalo ng first championship sa Meralco. Very motivated kami lahat na mag-champion at maka-panalo at makabawi sa Ginebra. Sana this time, makuha namin.”

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