ALLEIN Maliksi has been put on the trading block by the Hotshots on Saturday as he became the centerpiece of a two-on-two deal with Blackwater as per reliable sources gathered by spin.ph from insiders of both teams.
Together with rookie big man Chris Javier, Maliksi is being dealt to the Elite in exchange for the duo of BamBam Gamalinda and Kyle Pascual.
The trade papers have already been sent to the PBA office pending the approval of Commissioner Chito Narvasa.
If approved, Maliksi has played his final game as a Hotshot also in a 96-90 loss to the Meralco Bolts during the Governors Cup Petron Saturday Special in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
The trade came as a big surprise as Maliksi's role with Star has considerably expanded following the exit of two-time MVP James Yap at the start of the season.
Maliksi has become a reliable scorer for the Hotshots that national coach Chot Reyes has tapped him to become part of the Gilas Pilipinas training pool this year.
The league's reigning Three-Point king had been with Star since 2013 — acquired in a trade with Barako Bull — and was actually part of the unit that won the grand slam for the franchise in 2014.
A known streak shooter, the 29-year-old Maliksi had been struggling with the Hotshots of late, scoring a combined 11 points in the team's last two outings — both losses — against Barangay Ginebra and Meralco.
The addition of Maliksi gives Blackwater another offensive threat outside of big man John Paul Erram, rookie Mac Belo and guards Roi Sumang and Mike Digregorio.
Maliksi and Javier are also the new acquisitions taken by Blackwater following a similar 2-on-2-trade it pulled off with Barangay Ginebra last week that netted the Elite forwards Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo for Raymund Aguilar and Art dela Cruz.
To be fair, Gamalinda had been playing pretty solid for Blackwater this conference so much so he was re-signed to a one-year contract by the franchise.
Pascual's playing time greatly diminished upon the return of Erram from the injury list. He didn't see action in the team's last outing against Barangay Ginebra last Friday in a 98-81 loss at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Javier hasn't played significant minutes this season for Star, which tabbed him as the no. 5 overall pick in last year's regular draft.