ALLEIN Maliksi had to lead the way for someone who’s been there and done that.
Allein Maliksi Game 5 stats
The veteran gunner took charge for an embattled Meralco five and helped the team stay alive in its PBA Philippine Cup semis series against Magnolia following a 102-98 win Wednesday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.
Maliksi poured in nine straight points in a two-minute span as he outscored the entire Magnolia team to break a 90-all contest and put the Bolts in front for good, 99-93.
He finished with a game-high 29 points on 7-of-8 shooting from three-point range to show the way for a young Meralco team whose majority of its players have yet to win a PBA title except for him, Raymond Almazan, and Reynel Hugnatan.
“Do-or-die for us eh, kaya kailangan mag set ako ng good example sa mga teammates ko as a veteran for them,” said Maliksi, who won four championships while still with ironically, the Purefoods franchise, including as member of the 2014 grand slam team.
Maliksi’s total output is a second career-best, but his highest in a Meralco uniform and also a playoffs career-high, according to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.
The seven three-pointers he made also equals his career-high.
But the job is far for over for the Bolts, who still trails the best-of-seven series, 3-2. Game 6 is set on Friday.
“Sabi ko lang sa mga teammates ko, one game at a time lang. And then no pressure, just give our best effort in the game,” said the 34-year-old Maliksi, a first round pick in the 2011 draft.
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