SAN Mig Coffee is set to acquire Allein Maliksi in a trade with Barako Bull to widen its scoring options in the PBA Governors Cup, especially with superstar James Yap continuing to struggle from the floor.
Team insiders revealed on Friday that San Mig has agreed a deal that would enable them to get Maliksi from Barako Bull in exchange for veteran forward Wesley Gonzales and guard Chris Pacana.
At posting time, the trade papers were on the way to the PBA Commissioner's Office for approval, the source added.
The trade marks another major turn in the career of Maliksi, a former University of Santo Tomas mainstay who just last January was sent by Barangay Ginebra to Barako Bull in a multi-team trade that also involved Mac Baracael.
Maliksi has seen little action for Barako Bull owing to knee problems but San Mig is hoping the athletic swingman can add a new dimension to the Mixers' offense once healthy.
The deal was in fact fast-tracked a day before the Mixers' second game of the PBA Governors Cup against Air21 Express on Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Team insiders said San Mig had been looking to boost its arsenal since the semifinal series against Alaska in the Commissioner's Cup, which saw the Mixers' offense struggle with Yap limited by a back injury and PJ Simon unable to step up as the team's primary scoring option.
Yap, a two-time league MVP, is back in top shape for the Governors Cup but continues to misfire, making just one of 14 shots in the 75-79 loss to Rain or Shine on Wednesday. (For full story on Yap's struggles, see 'Overeager' Yap searches for answers after firing blanks against Rain or Shine)
Maliksi was rushing to join San Mig's practice on Friday morning at posting time, but had time to post on his Twitter account @alleinmaliksi: "I want to be like Gary David...bring your own team to the top!"
On the other hand, Gonzales is set to reunite with fellow Ateneo alumni Rico Villanueva, Eman Monfort, and JC Intal at Barako Bull while Pacana will most likely back up Jonas Villanueva at the point guard position.