Maliksi leads Star to another impressive win
Paul Lintag on Feb 01, 2017 06:30 PM
MR. HOTSHOT. Allein Maliksi is still en fuego and he has Star rolling to the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
Allein Maliksi is still on fire and it appears there's no end yet to his scoring explosions.
The former UST star poured a career-high 33 points in just 22 minutes as the Star Hotshots manhandled also-ran Mahindra in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup, 124-87, Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Despite Star already up 28 points at the break, Maliksi dropped 20 points in the second half, leading the Hotshots to their second straight blowout victory.
Maliksi added three rebounds and one assists to his stat line but more impressive is him shooting 78 percent from the field, including 7-of-8 from deep, and was a team-high plus 34 off the bench.
The victory was Star's fourth straight and now head to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 mark. The Hotshots are assured of at least the third seed in the playoffs but they get to keep second place if Alaska drops its final game to Rain or Shine.
Star was all business to start the game, ending the first 12 minutes up by 22 points, 41-19.
It was all Hotshots the rest of the way naturally, with the biggest lead standing at 46 points, 124-78, before the Floodbuster scored the game's last nine points for the final tally.
"Again, it's all about our defense. We prepared hard for this game kasi chinallenge ko yung mga players ko na I know we are in the quarterfinals but we need to gain momentum. I'm thankful to the players para ma-solidify yung chance namin for the second spot," head coach Chito Victolero said as Star held Mahindra to only 37 percent shooting.
Aside from Maliksi, five other Star players scored in double figures led by Paul Lee's 16 points. Jio Jalalon, Justin Melton, and Aldrech Ramos all chipped in 11 each.
Alex Mallari and Nico Salva paced the Floodbuster with 15 points apiece. Mahindra wrapped up its Philippine Cup campaign with a 3-8 record.
STAR 124 - Maliksi 33, Lee 16, Melton 11, Ramos 11, Jalalon 11, Sangalang 10, Abundo 8, Barroca 7, Brondial 6, Reavis 5, Pingris 2, Javier 2, Dela Rosa 2, De Leon 0.
MAHINDRA 87 - Salva 15, Mallari 15, Yee 14, Paniamogan 9, Revilla 7, Ballesteros 6, Teng 6, Celda 5, Apinan 4, Elorde 2, Eriobu 2, Galanza 2, Nimes 0.
Quarterscores: 41-19, 68-40, 93-65, 124-87
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