ALLEIN Maliksi admitted he is still motivated these days by his misfiring performance down the stretch in Star’s loss to Alaska three weeks ago in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Hotshots rising star missed two potential game-winning shots, including a forced midrange jumper that could’ve already won the game in regulation, before seeing the Aces steal the game in the extra sessions.
Three games later, the Hotshots gunner reset his career-high to 33 points to lead the Hotshots to a 124-78 blowout of Mahindra in their last game of the elimination round.
“Yung sa Alaska game, yung last shot na nag-miss at yung dalawang potential game-winner na nag-miss din, nasa isip ko nun, it will either make you or break you,” Maliksi said. “Chinallenge ko yung sarili ko na i-improve pa yung shooting ko at finocus ko yung mindset ko na lahat ng proper technique para magawa ko para mataas yung percentage ko.”
“Gusto ko din itaas yung level ng basketball ko,” he added. “Ito na yung chance to grab yung opportunity na binibigay sa’kin.”
Averaging 26 points in his last two games, the Best Player of the Week continued to be on target, making all but three of his 14 shots – including seven three-point conversions, and all his four shots from the foul line, as he ended up scoring four more points than his previous career high.
And he did it in just 22 minutes off the bench.
“Last two games ko pa gusto makuha yun kaso medyo mga blowout na yun kaya hindi na kami pinasok ni coach,” Maliksi, who also contributed three rebounds, one assist, and one steal, said. “Thankful ako ngayon na nakuha ko na yung career-high ko.”
But Maliksi also deflected credit to his teammates as their balanced effort has dominated recent opponents.
“Actually, maganda yung chemistry. Mataas talaga yung confidence namin,” Maliksi said. “Isa pang maganda sa team namin ay naghihilahan kami pataas. Walang hatakan pababa.”