In a battle where final racks were vital, first-timer Allein Maliksi defied the three-peat gunning Terrence Romeo and a hot-shooting LA Tenorio in the final round of the Three-Point Shootout to emerge as the new champion, Friday at the Quezon Convention Center.
“Medyo nakaka-pressure sa dulo kasi paubos na oras,” admitted the Star Hotshots guard moments after the shootout. “Mindset ko lang is to make every shot. Sarili mo lang naman kalaban mo kaya nag-focus lang.
“It just so happened na ako yung mainit today.”
Having earned a ticket to the finals after scoring 21 in the elimination phase, Maliksi continued his streak in the title bout, finishing with 20 points — sinking the balls in the final rack perfectly — to clinch the title of three-point king in the 2017 PBA All Star Week.
The Barangay’s Tenorio became the early favorite to dethrone Romeo, as he caught fire right away and set the first round’s barometer with 23 huge points. However, the Batangueño floor general failed ro replicate his fiery start and only made 18 in the finals.
This year’s shootout now marks the end of Romeo’s reign, which lasted from 2015 to 2016. The Batang Pier star produced 18 in the opening round, but a missed money ball in the finals made him nail just 17, signaling the conclusion of his two-year reign.
Other participants in the contest included Simon Enciso, Ronjay Buenafe, Gary David, Jared Dillinger Juami Tiongson, Matthew Wright, Maverick Ahanmisi, Marcio Lassiter, and Larry Fonacier — the shootout’s lowest scorer with just seven.