PBA: Allein Maliksi learning the ropes as Blackwater's leader
Philip Matel on Feb 13, 2019 08:15 PM
Maliksi led the offense with 25 points, five rebounds, three assists and several clutch jumpers.
For 31-year old Allein Maliksi, taking the daunting task of being the Blackwater Elite's locker room leader will be no walk in the park, but he is willing to take charge.
His team showed promise against the hobbled Alaska Aces Wednesday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena, going down by as much as 13, 63-50, midway through the third quarter before closing in on the lead and eventually taking the lead in the fourth.
Although Blackwater exhibited grit, the inexperience of a young team became speed bumps down the stretch as the veteran Aces escaped with a 103-101 win.
Maliksi led the Blackwater offense with 25 points, five rebounds, three assists and several clutch jumpers, as he became a much-needed driving force for a team that features five rookies and a handful role players.
"Wala yung teamwork. So kailangan talaga namin mag-build ulit ng magkakasama kami ng matagal, so kumbaga medyo parang naging rookie team ulit yung team ko so para sa akin as a leader nila na nilo-look forward," said the former Growling Tiger.
"I'm always trying to take charge na ma-encourage sila, fix their mindset na this game, we need to be smart."
Maliksi previously thought that being a leader was to sacrifice one's indivudual game for the overall well-being of the squad, but as coach Bong Ramos made him realize, that was far from being a leader.
"Sabi ko sa kaniya, 'ba’t ayaw mong tumira?' 'Kasi, coach, diba ako ang leader,' sabi niya, 'eh gusto ko sakin magsimula yung nagfi-feed, yung nagpapasa.' “No,' sabi ko, 'not because you’re trying to be a leader or you’re the leader of the team, hindi ka na titira," Ramos said.
"That is not your game. Your game is to score, maging agresibo ka umopensa. Hindi pupwede yung ganiyan. Eh yung mga kasama mo inaasahan shu-shoot ka eh. Biro mo four attempts ka lang sa Ginebra,'" he added.
By being the team's designated scorer, Maliksi noted that aside from the points, he had also set an example for the team in other aspects of the game, such as precise passing and defending.
That could serve as a great start for their talented rookies in Paul Desiderio, Abu Tratter, and Diego Dario, along with newcomers Joseph Eriobu and Gelo Alolino.
"[Medyo proud ako sa mga teammates ko and sa team ko. Kasi, kahit nalalamangan kami ng double-digit, nakakabalik kami. And yung sa dulo, medyo breaks of the game, di kami naka-depensa. Naka-shoot si Banchero at si Sonny Thoss sa huli. So, yun nga, sabi ko sa kanila, after the game, proud ako sa kanilang lahat kasi hindi tayo nag-give up."
Staring at a record which is unlikely enough for a playoff run, all Maliksi wants the team to do is to hang their head high for the season isn't over in the first conference.
"Iniisip lang namin every game magimprove kami. Every game lumalaban hindi yung lopsided na tambak talaga kami -- yun yung talagang iniiwasan namin eh. Though hindi kami ganun kabeteranong team kasi mga rookies and mga ngayon lang halos nabigyan ng playing time yung iba,"
"We need to be patient about it. Hindi pwede mawalan ng pasensya -- ako hinahabaan ko rin kasi minsan gusto ko na mainis pero hindi pwede kasi hindi ka pwede bumigay as a leader."
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