ANTIPOLO – Allein Maliksi drew praise from import Bill Walker after the former put up a solid debut for Blackwater in the team’s 118-107 win over GlobalPort in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday night.
Maliksi wasted little time in showing his caliber as he registered a team-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including two treys, five boards, one assist, and one steal to lead his new team in clinching a playoff berth.
“I like the Maliksi kid,” Walker said. “I told him, 'don’t be scared of the moment, step up'. He told me, 'hey, don't worry, I got you.' I'm like, 'alright'. He's got a lot of confidence. I like it. He's aggressive. He knows where to be.
“He's probably another (bright spot) to our offense,” he added. “Him and Michael (DiGregorio) at the sides, Poy (Erram) running that lane ... we'll give a lot of team some scares.”
Maliksi conspired with Walker, who also showed his NBA pedigree by flirting with a triple-double of 19 points, 13 boards, and nine assists and completing a five-by-five performance with five steals, and five blocks with less than a minute of rest.
“It's what it is man,” Walker said. “I mean, I tell the guys all the time, we gotta have that hard-to-kill mentality. Whether it's for forty-eight minutes, regardless of what I have to do, I’mma do it for my team to get the win.”
The balanced attack resulted in the crucial win that completed the cast in the playoffs.
But Walker is reminding his team not to get ahead of themselves.
“It’s gonna be a tough road regardless of where we're seeded at,” Walker said. “That's what the playoffs are, there's no easy game. Regardless of who we play, we're coming in, we're gonna be ready ... That's all we can do, right?”