DEEP inside, Allein Maliksi’s faith with Blackwater has never wavered. Never mind if the Elite are seeded no. 8 and up against the no.1 team Meralco Bolts in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals.
Maliksi believes the team has the tools to pull off a massive upset in the playoffs of the season-ending meet.
“Ang laki ng pakiramdam ko na meron kaming something na maibibigay dito. Yung faith ko sa team, sabi ko kaya namin ito,” said the veteran gunner.
The Elite proved Maliksi right as they outplayed the Bolts down the stretch to pull off a pulsating 92-91 win Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena to send their playoffs series in a deciding winner-take-all.
Maliksi had a huge hand on the team’s first playoff win in franchise history, draining the soft jumper in the final 9.5 seconds that allowed the Elite to negate the twice-to-beat advantage the Bolts had against them.
The 30-year-old wingman out of University of Santo Tomas finished with 15 points, but shot just 6-of-15 from the floor.
Yet, coach Leo Isaac opted to keep him until the endgame, a move he reciprocated by making the biggest basket in Blackwater’s young PBA history.
“Thankful ako kina coach Leo dahil sa laking tiwala na binigay nila sa akin. Hindi nila ako inalis, pinag stay nila ako sa game,” said Maliksi, who’s just playing in his third game with the Elite after being acquired just before the trade deadline two weeks ago.
He also made mention about the trust import Henry Walker has given to him.
“Usually yung mga imports, sila ang nagte-take ng last shot. Ang laki ng tiwala niya (sa akin),pinasa niya kahit alam niyang crucial basket, pero binigay pa rin niya sa locals,” he said of the Elite’s prolific import.
One more win on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum meant Blackwater advancing to the semifinals of the league for the first time ever. Maliksi has no doubt the Elite are capable of doing it. They’ve done it on this night, and there’s no reason why they can’t do it again.
“It (victory) only means yung team ng Blackwater has pieces which in the future, can compete with the elite teams in the PBA,” he said. “Kailangan lang may mag-guide sa mga bago, kailangan lang namin maging consistent playing as a team.”