Sunday night at the Ynares Center marked the debut of Allein Maliksi for the Blackwater Elite, days after he was shockingly shipped by the Star Hotshots in exchange for young bigs Kyle Pascual and Bambam Gamalinda.
It was another chapter of Maliksi’s six years in the league. But the 29-year-old admitted that having been shipped to another team for the fourth time in his career was a bitter pill to swallow.
“Nakaka-iyak talaga na nalipat ako,” admitted Maliksi, who won four championships with Star, during their days as the San Mig Coffee Mixers.
“It’s been four years na family ang tingin namin sa isa’t-isa.”
But his sadness did not translate to a sour outing in his first game with the Elite. The six-foot-four swingman was excellent, topscoring for Blackwater with 22 points to help his side win over Globalport Batang Pier, 118-107.
Furthermore, the victory helped the Elite complete the 2017 Governor’s Cup playoff cast.
Even head coach Leo Isaac and teammate Henry Walker were all praises for the Gilas Pilipinas pool member with the way he played.
“Nangangapa pa, pero impressive siya,” lauded Isaac.
“I like that Maliksi kid,” added Walker. “He’s got a lot of confidence. I like it. He’s aggressive. He knows where to be. He’s probabaly another (bright spot) in our offense… We’ll give a lot of team some scares.”
But the University of Santo Tomas product said that his team-best 22-point effort, highlighted by a 58-percent shooting clip, was simply a result of the hard work he puts in night in and night out.
“Just a product of my hard work in every practice lang siguro. Given the opportunity, ayun lumalabas,” he said.
With his first game with his new team now in the books, Maliksi is all set to move on from his time with the Hotshots. And now, the Makati-born guard is keen on helping Blackwater more as a vocal leader.
“I’m trying my best to speak out sa mga little things na kailangan namin gawin sa court. Yung mga natutunan ko sa mga dati kong napuntahan na team, siyempre as a veteran na din, kailangan ko dalhin dito sa team na maraming rookies and youngsters,” said Maliksi.
“Dito kailangan ko mas maging aggressive, kasi kailangan ko din mag-lead by example for the other guys.”