IN so short a time with San Mig Coffee, athletic forward Allein Maliksi has gotten the trust of coach Tim Cone that he’s having the playing minutes he least expected upon being traded to the star-studded teams prior to the PBA Governors Cup.
Even the 6-foot-4 high-leaper out of University of Santo Tomas is surprised himself at the exposure being given to him by his well-respected coach.
“Kasi ini-expect ko nung una na di ako masyado magagamit. Kaya nung unang na-trade ako, sad ako,” Maliksi admitted to Spin.ph.
“Sa Barako kasi ako na pinupuntahan saka alam ko na sistema. Pero ngayon binibigyan ako ni coach ng playing time,” he added after putting in quality minutes in the Mixers’ nail-biting 81-77 win over his former team Barako Bull Saturday night.
Maliksi said he’s thankful for the break being given him by Cone which he is repaying back by always being ready with his A-game every time he steps on the court.
And he doesn’t mind neither, that he’s competing for playing minutes with San Mig Coffee’s resident stars James Yap and Peter June Simon.
“Kapag binigyan ako ng tiwala, siyempre magiging responsible naman ako. So far, nami-meet ko naman expectations nila coach,” he added.
But the feeling is mutual as far as Cone is concerned.
The veteran American mentor said Maliksi’s value increases at times when Yap or even Simon has an off night as San Mig’s new recruit has the freedom to contribute offensively when the needed arises.
“You can see the value of Allein Maliksi when James struggles a little bit. We have a guy who can come out as a threat,” explained Cone. “We just want to get bigger because he (Maliksi) was shooting the ball
well and motivated to play.”
Maliksi is averages 15 points and 5.25 rebounds in the Mixers’ four-game winning run that allowed San Mig to book a quarterfinal seat with the win over the Energy Cola Saturday.
The first ever PBA D-League Most Valuable Player was acquired by San Mig following a trade with Barako Bull in exchange for seldom-used Wesley Gonzales, Chris Pacana, and a second round draft pick in 2017.