Maliksi carries Blackwater to shocking upset of Meralco
Paul Lintag on Sep 26, 2017 06:32 PM
Maliksi fired two ago-ahead buckets in the final 33 seconds to lift no. 8 Blackwater to a shocking upset of no. 1 Meralco to start the 2017 Governors' Cup playoffs.
Blackwater sure won that trade with Star that involved Allein Maliksi.
Maliksi fired two ago-ahead buckets in the final 33 seconds to lift no. 8 Blackwater to a shocking upset of no. 1 Meralco, 92-91, to start the 2017 Governors' Cup quarterfinals Tuesday at the MOA Arena.
The high-scoring combo guard put the Elite up, 90-89, after nailing a pull-up fastbreak jumper with 33.5 seconds to go.
Then, after Allen Durham answered for the Bolts, Maliksi hit another mid-range J with 5.9 ticks remaining for the win. Mike Tolomia's final shot on the other end was off as Blackwater erased Meralco's twice-to-beat advantage.
The victory was Blackwater's first playoff win as a PBA franchise and the Elite also became only the fourth team to force a knockout game against a no. 1 seed.
"Instructtions were to have a good shot before buzzer expires, if there's any opening ahead of time, we have to take it. Bottomline is we challenged the players to face the situation," head coach Leo Isaac said.
"We wanted the ball to Henry Walker, but there's an option on Maliksi coming out of the inbound. Either he goes baseline or he goes on top. If he goes on top, what confidence Walker has on his teammate, he made the pass and Maliksi took the shot and made it," he added.
With the Bolts rather sluggish on both ends, Blackwater pounced and took control of the game from the early goings.
However, behind a balanced attack, Meralco would recover and be on top of things in the fourth period. The only thing that kept the Elite in the game was Walker as he poured 19 points in the final quarter.
What put Blackwater over the top were Maliksi's clutch jumpers obviously. Those four points were Maliksi's only points in the last 12 minutes.
Walker fired 30 points to lead the Elite on top of 18 rebounds and six assists. Mike Digregorio added 20 while Maliksi was good for 15 points.
Five players scored in double figures for Meralco led by Chris Newsome's 19. Allen Durham and Cliff Hodge dropped 18 apiece for the no. 1 Bolts.
The sudden death between both teams is set on Thursday with the winner moving on to the semifinals.
BLACKWATER 92 - Walker 30, Digregorio 20, Maliksi 15, Sumang 9, Erram 7, Sena 4, Marcelo 4, Canaleta 3, Belo 0, Pinto 0, Cruz 0.
MERALCO 91 - Newsome 19, Durham 18, Hodge 18, Dillinger 12, Tolomia 11, Amer 8, Hugnatan 5, Lanete 0, Caram 0, De Ocampo 0.
Quarters: 24-17, 42-40, 63-62, 92-91.
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