ALLEIN Maliksi is determined to battle through his latest injury setback, refusing to consider other career options this early in his basketball life.
Maliksi suffered his second knee injury in two seasons in the PBA on Friday during San Mig Coffee’s PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal game against Alaska — and third overall counting a knee problem in college while playing for the University of Santo Tomas Tigers.
Compared to the MCL injury he suffered while he was with Barako Bull, the high-flying forward dreads that this time it is much worse.
According to the Mixers’ physical therapist, the first reading on Maliksi’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on Sunday afternoon was an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, the same injury he suffered before he was able to see action in the collegiate league on 2008.
The new injury is set to sideline Maliksi for almost eight months , a disappointing development for the player drafted eighth overall in 2011 by Barako Bull, after experiencing sort of a career resurgence following a trade to San Mig Coffee this conference.
“Sayang. Maganda na ang nalalaro ko sa PBA at maganda na ang naitutulong ko sa kanila, tapos bigla na naman akong na-injured,” said Maliksi, brought in by the Mixers to add another scoring option as main man James Yap struggled in the early goings of the conference.
Interestingly, it was his mother that brought up the idea of a career reboot, mentioning former UST teammate Khasim Mirza’s plans to pursue a career in aviation after an unfruitful stint in the pros.
But Maliksi says he doesn’t see himself taking that path anytime soon.
“Ang-bata ko pa. Twenty-six lang ako. Umaabot naman sa 34-35 ang mga PBA players.”
Maliksi said he was told by Mixers coach Tim Cone to take the needed time to recuperate.
“Sabi ni coach Tim, wala kang dapat intindihin, magpagaling ka. Aantayin kita na makabalik ka,” said Maliksi, who is confident he will rise soon and sees himself winning a championship title and having an abundant career in the PBA.
“Hindi naman pwedeng mag give-up ako porket na-injured,” he said. “Kung ano talaga ang gusto mong gawin sa sarili mo, syempre kailangan mong i-pursue yun.”
Though not certain he’d be given the same playing time when he returns, he’ll just keep holding on to his dream.
“Kung may opportunity ako na ipagpatuloy to, bakit hindi?”