Allein Maliksi downplays praise after huge debut for Blackwater
Allein Maliksi is eager to continue to deliver for the Elite squad that has welcomed him with open arms. Jerome Ascano

ANTIPOLO City — It's not a matter of Allein Maliksi proving how good a player he is. It just so happened he was given the opportunity by Blackwater and he wasted no time to grab the chance.

Maliksi had a team-high 22 points in his debut as an Elite and help the team clinch a playoff berth in the PBA Governors Cup as Blackwater ousted Globalport on Sunday.

He added five rebounds and wad 7 of 12 from the field in his first ever game since being traded by Star along with Chris Javier for the duo of Bambam Gamalinda and Kyle Pascual.

Maliksi was quick to play down his performance is his way of trying to rile his former team.

"Given the opportunity, ayun lumalabas siguro," he said after the win, Blackwater's fifth in 10 games.

"It's just a product of my hardwork."

The 29-year-old wingman admitted he's yet to get over leaving Star, where he had been a major player off the bench for the past four years and won four championships including a grand slam in 2014.

He also said he did not have the chance to say goodbye to his former teammates following the trade.

"I wasn't given the opportunity to visit the practice. (Nakakahiya) naman na pupunta pa ako doon e na-trade na nga ako," said the former University of Sto. Tomas stalwart.

Maliksi said he still misses the Hotshots, specifically close friends Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang, and veterans Marc Pingris, and before being traded, James Yap.

But Blackwater has welcomed him with open arms and helping him a lot to start all over again.

"They're lifting my spirit and building my confidence," said Maliksi, who specially mentioned the Blackwater coaching staff, import Henry Walker, KG Canaleta and Denok Miranda as those who have been very supportive. For that alone, Allein wants to repay his new team.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos