MANILA, Philippines – Allein Maliksi has had a whirwind PBA career.
After winning 4 PBA titles with the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers – including a rare Grand Slam in 2014 – Maliksi never reached the finals again and spent time at the lower echelon of the league with Blackwater.
But after a five-year wait, Maliksi has another shot at PBA glory as Meralco tangles with Barangay Ginebra for the Governors’ Cup crown.
He had been traded to the Bolts in the middle of the season-ending conference after two years with the Elite.
“It’s a different feeling when you win a championship,” said Maliksi in a mix of Filipino and English.
“Your hard work and sacrifices will be worth it if you win a championship.”
As fate would have it, Maliksi will be going up against the same coach he had the most success with in Tim Cone, who will call the shots for the Gin Kings.
Since they parted ways in 2015, with Cone joining Barangay Ginebra, Maliksi bounced around the league as he played two more years for the Star Hotshots, Blackwater, and now Meralco – his fifth PBA team.
Maliksi, though, has taken the ups and down in his career in stride.
“I’m thankful for everything that happened to me and my career. Of course, God has a purpose why I played for a lot of teams,” said the eight-year veteran.
He added: “I’ll bring all of my experiences and everything I learned in my career into this team and I’ll do as much as I can to help this team.”
Although the Bolts succumbed to the Gin Kings in 2016 and 2017 when they disputed the Governors’ Cup crown, Maliksi said he likes their chances, especially with his side adding key pieces for a title run.
Besides Maliksi, Meralco also acquired the services of big man Raymond Almazan and do-it-all rookie Bong Quinto.
“We just need to prepare well and adjust in the finals,” Maliksi said.
The best-of-seven finals series will kick off on January 8 next year. – Rappler.com