Allein Maliksi's unexpected journey to Gilas Pilipinas
Paul Lintag on Apr 29, 2017 04:50 PM
The forgotten player of San Mig Coffee's Grand Slam team just shot his way to Gilas Pilipinas. (PBA Media Bureau)
LUCENA CITY --- Allein Maliksi wasn't supposed to be where he's at right now.
After teammate Paul Lee went down to injury just as Gilas Pilipinas was starting camp for the 2017 SEABA Championships, Maliksi was called up to fill in as Star's representative for the national team.
One and a half month later after he rushed to Tagaytay to join Chot Reyes' 25-man pool, Star's unaplogetic scorer has officially made it to the senior team set to represent the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifier.
Maliksi had quite a day Friday at the Quezon Convention Center here. Not only did he crown himself as the new PBA three-point king, the Hotshots forward was named to the SEABA 12 by Reyes himself, his first stint for Gilas Pilipinas.
"Hindi naman surprising that much. I need to turn it up na makasama sa final 12. Hindi ko in-expect na mala-lineup ako, pero I work hard every practice to earn it," Maliksi said.
"Syempre thankful kay God sa opportunity na dumating dito sa point ng career ko," he added.
Among the 12 players in the new Gilas team, Maliksi's journey has to be the most unexpected.
The lost player in San Mig Coffee's Grand Slam after suffering an unfortunate ACL injury, Maliksi has worked his way back to relevance in the last couple of conferences.
However, his star turn appears to be complete this season as he assumed the role left by James Yap as the team's resident scorer.
"Yun yung sinasabi na in God's perfect time. Dadating rin yung mga opportunities. You just have to be ready when the time comes," he said.
With Gilas Pilipinas, Maliksi's role should pretty much stay the same. All he needs to do is to score as many points as possible.
"Preparation and focus lang. Just need to be ready every time na dumating yung opportunity. Dumating yung time na you need to make shots, you have to make it. Kailangan i-ready lang ang sarili," the former UST star said.
Earning a coveted slot for Team Philippines, Maliksi is not about to waste his latest opportunity. The grind will only continue for the 29-year-old scorer.
"Siyempre even before gusto ko na makalaro sa national team. Sino ba naman ang hindi? It’s an honor to serve our country," he said.
"Ang laking fulfilment sa career ko. I work every hard to improve my game. Thankful and blessed na medyo ‘yung lahat nagma-match na," Maliksi added.
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