Playing time issue a thing of the past as Allein Maliksi thrives in new role for Star
Allein Maliksi is one of the bright spots in Star's wobbly start. Jerome Ascano

WORRYING about his performance rather than his playing time is working wonders for Allein Maliksi.

Putting behind his indefinite suspension over his apparent issue with minutes in the Philippine Cup, the Star wingman has been playing consistent basketball for the Hotshots early in the Commissioner’s Cup.

Maliksi has been one of the few bright spots for the Hotshots in their gloomy start, with the latest proof a 23-point, five-rebound, two-steal showing in 26 minutes off the bench in the team’s 122-103 win over Blackwater on Wednesday.

“It’s all about hard work,” Maliksi said. “Pinaghahandaan ko talaga yung sarili ko na mag-perform every game na binibigay sa akin ni coach (Jason Webb) na playing time.”

“Kinausap din ako ni coach na every time na nasa loob ako ng court, buhos na ako. Hindi na yung parang relax,” he added. “Every time na may opportunity, tine-take advantage ko lang.”

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Now, the former University of Santo Tomas standout is hardly concerned whatever playing time he gets.

“Kahit ano naman (role ko), kung ano ibigay, tine-take advantage ko lang. I’m making the most out of it na lang,” he insisted. “Kung ano ibigay, edi yun. Kung sitting on the bench, respect na lang.”

Webb praised Maliksi, who still delivered despite being relegated to the bench to give way to James Yap.

“Credit to Allein, because we moved James back as a starter and we still got the numbers from Allein,” said Webb, who gave Maliksi the responsibility to lead the second group.

“Kinausap ako ni coach na i-lead ko yung bench,” Maliksi said. “So kinausap ko si Justin (Melton) at yung ibang second group na ready kami lagi.”

“Kasi good start kami for the past few games, pero pag dating ng second group, medyo nawawala eh,” he added. “So sabi ko focus lang kami on defense tapos sa offense, kung sino maganda laro, punta kami dun.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos