Allein Maliksi carried the hot shooting he had done for most of the elimination round and in the semifinal clincher into Game 1 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals which enabled Meralco to beat Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in convincing fashion.
Maliksi torched Ginebra for 15 points in the first half before taking a step back in the final two quarters to finish with 22 as the Bolts won the opener, 104-91, before 12,457 fans Wednesday, April 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The performance came after Maliksi dropped 24 on Magnolia Pambansang Manok in the deciding fifth game of the semis that allowed Meralco to arrange a fourth finals meeting with Ginebra.
His scoring and shooting numbers during the early part of the playoffs dipped after emerging as perhaps Meralco’s top offensive weapons in the eliminations.
But Maliksi said he was able to find ways of adjusting the defenses of both Magnolia and Ginebra, apart from Meralco’s execution on offense, resulting in his good run of form.
“Sa semis kasi nung Magnolia talagang deny, nakastay-home lang sa akin at meron silang defensive scheme. I’m just trusting my teammates na sige kung dadating sa akin, dadating sa akin. Hindi ko hahanapin,” he said.
“Ngayon yung Ginebra, team defense talaga din sila so makikita mo din naman na they have a gameplan din naman at napapansin ko kung ano yung binibigay nila sa amin.
“Ang difference lang between sa nagstruggle ako sa past two games is I’m getting more touches and talagang nagcrecreate mga kasama ko sa akin kaya naaappreciate ko lahat yun,” he added.
But Maliksi said the victory still means nothing for Meralco, knowing that Ginebra will be out to redeem itself going into the second game at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.
Maliksi is expected to be a marked man when the two teams return to action as Ginebra looks to perhaps limit his touches or put him in uncomfortable situations.
“It’s just one game, we haven’t achieved anything yet,” said Maliksi. “We’re still not celebrating, talagang goal namin is maka-champion kami. I’m happy with our game and performance tonight but yun nga focus kami sa Game 2.”
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net