ROOKIE Alex Mallari is starting to feel at home as he works to rebuild his confidence and kick-start his stalled professional career at San Mig Coffee.
The trade that sent him to the Mixers camp gives Mallari the chance to start afresh after a forgettable debut conference with Petron, most of which he spent at the farthest end of Olsen Racela's bench.
But moving to a new team entails new challenges and major adjustments for the No. 3 pick overall of the last rookie draft, who has now been entrusted to share the point-guard duties with sophomore Mark Barroca under Tim Cone's triangle offense.
“I’m pretty good, though I’m still adjusting to learning the triangle system," the gangling 6-4 player told Spin.ph. "I just got to pick it up pretty quick because coach Tim puts a lot on my shoulders."
Mallari said learning the triangle offense is not easy and will take time, so much so that the Fil-American admits he is still grappling with the basics of Tex Winter's offense two weeks after moving to the Mixers.
“The triangle is such a complicated system because up to now, I’m just trying to learn the basics. I’m not even learning the defense yet,” he added.
The Mixers are 0-3 so far in their pre-Commissioner’s Cup buildup with import Matt Rogers in tow, but Mallari remains confident the team will be ready for the start of their title defense against Barako Bull on Friday.
Playing just nine games in the Philippine Cup, Mallari finished with averages of 4.73 points, two rebounds and 1.1 assist in 15.7 minutes as he had to compete for playing time with playmakers Alex Cabagnot, Dennis Miranda and Chico Lanete.