ALLEIN Maliksi was already deprived of representing the country after being left out from the Gilas Pilipinas side that played in the recently concluded Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon.
Now, the Star gunner is also somehow an odd man out for his mother club in the PBA Governors’ Cup where he has seen a slight dip in playing time.
After averaging 20.6 minutes in the eliminations in the Commissioner’s Cup and seeing an increase in the playoffs at 25.8 minutes, Maliksi has seen a norm of just 17.5 minutes of action so far in the season-ending tournament.
That’s because the veteran shooting guard is sharing minutes with a perimeter-oriented import in Malcolm Hill.
And Star coach Chito Victolero is preaching patience to Maliksi and the rest of their wingmen.
“Naiintindihan naman ni Allein yun,” Victolero said after their 92-88 loss to Rain or Shine on Sunday. “I talked to the guards na masa-sacrifice yung minutes nila kasi Hill will play at the wing. Sometimes lang yung mag-big siya, but most of the time, wing siya.”
“Sakripisyo lang,” the former PBA playmaker added. “Alam naman ng players yun.”
Despite the relatively short playing time for his stature, Maliksi has been squeezing the most of his opportunity as he has averaged 10 points, 2.2 boards, one steal, and only one turnover in his first five games.
Maliksi chipped in 10 points – only the third time he has scored in double digits this conference – along with three steals in less than 15 minutes against the E-Painters in a loss where Hill registered 26 points and 20 boards that went for naught.
The 21-year-old import’s 20-20 performance, though, still left something to be desired as far as Victolero is concerned.
“I think konting push pa sa kanya,” Victolero said. “Maganda naman ang attitude nya. Kailangan lang naming iremind sa depensa. Maaga pa naman, but siguro yung natitira pang games, makaka-adjust pa siya.”