MANILA, Philippines – Allein Maliksi nearly turned from hero to zero.
The Meralco guard almost saw his endgame heroics go down the drain after getting tossed out in a hard-fought 132-129 overtime win over Converge in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday, March 3.
Responsible for giving the Bolts a 130-128 lead off a clutch triple with 30 ticks left, Maliksi hit the showers earlier as he incurred a flagrant foul penalty two for choking Barkley Eboña following a hard foul from the FiberXers big man.
Maliksi would have ended the game by taking the win-sealing free throws, but his exit forced the Bolts to turn to Anjo Caram, who sank the foul shots that stretched their lead to 132-128.
His ejection also kept the comeback door ajar for Converge, which earned two free throws plus possession to get a crack at forcing a second overtime.
Jeron Teng, though, split his free throws and Jerrick Balanza missed the game-trying triple as Meralco held on to the win.
Maliksi said he would not have not lost his cool if Eboña – who got slapped a flagrant foul one – did not try to deliberately cause harm.
“I don’t think that’s the case because he’s not going for the ball, he’s really going for the face,” said Maliksi in a mix of Filipino and English.
“You can foul me on the shoulder or other parts of the body but he’s going for the face.”
Maliksi claimed Eboña also intentionally hurt Bolts import KJ McDaniels.
“The whole game he’s hurting KJ, he’s tripping KJ. He’s playing dirty,” Maliki said. “From the first half until the end, he’s like that. That’s his thing, but for me, it’s not okay.”
Maliksi felt Eboña deserved a flagrant foul two for the hit.
“What’s the difference between you punching in the face and you holding his neck?” Maliksi said. “I was dizzy. It felt like I was punched. That’s why I needed to sit down because I was dizzy.”
Fortunately for Maliksi, Meralco escaped with its sixth victory in 10 games to remain in contention for a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
“We got the win. That’s the most important.” – Rappler.com
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.