It may take a while for Allein Maliksi to accept Barkley Ebona’s apology following the heated encounter they got into late in Meralco’s eventual overtime victory against Converge in Friday’s PBA Governors’ Cup offering.
The FiberXers big man approached his senior in an attempt to make amends as they chanced upon one another in the dugout, but the youngster’s alleged actions during the game made it hard for the Bolts vet to say that all is well.
“Ayoko na parang, ‘Sige, okay lang.’ It’s not okay,” Maliksi told reporters moments after the 132-129 win at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The two were at the center of a heated commotion with just 6.9 seconds left in OT when Maliksi clearly didn’t like the duty foul given up by Ebona to freeze the clock, so much that he charged and grabbed his neck.
Following the officials’ review, Maliksi was booted out of the game for an F2 infraction while Ebona got assessed with an F1.
The 35-year-old felt that the sophomore wasn’t going for the ball, and his reaction was because of the foul’s impact he received.
“He’s not going for the ball,” he said. “Nahilo talaga ako eh, para akong sinapak. Kaya nung later on, napaupo ako sa gilid kasi nahihilo talaga ako.
“Parang nag-react ako. Actually, pinigilan ko ‘yung sarili ko, tinry ko lang hawakan talaga ‘yung–nanggigil ako, sobrang nag-hold back lang talaga ako. ‘Di ko alam na F2 pala ‘pag hinawakan mo sa leeg,” he added.
But apparently, it wasn’t just that particular play alone that had Maliksi irked. The 12-year pro alleged that Ebona and Converge were intentionally hurting Meralco import KJ McDaniels even earlier in the match.
“The whole game he’s hurting KJ. He’s tripping KJ. He’s playing dirty,” said Maliksi, who finished with 12 points off the bench.
“And even before that, sila Coach Aldin [Ayo] sinabi kay Toto [Jose] na parang feeling nila sinasaktan si import nila kay Jose, so ngayon sinabi niya kay Jose na sasaktan din ‘yung import namin. So ayun ‘yung nangyayari.
“So, the whole game, andun na siya eh, even the first half hanggang sa dulo, ganun ‘yung ginagawa niya,” he added.
The Maliksi-Ebona incident marred the tight contest but the UST product is just happy that his side managed to come out victorious.
“We got the win,” said Maliksi, who nailed the go-ahead three-pointer for a 130-128 lead with 34 seconds left.
“That’s the most important thing.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.