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Allein Maliksi was both accountable and unapologetic with the missed shots he took in the crucial stretches of Star’s 97-90 overtime loss to Alaska last Wednesday, a result that was a blow to the quarterfinals bid of the Hotshots in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Maliksi missed his last five shots in regulation and overtime periods, compounding the Hotshots’ offensive woes in the setback that sent them in a tie for eighth and ninth places with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at 3-4.
Those misses put to naught Maliksi’s three-pointer that tied the count at 86-all with 1:23 remaining in the fourth.
The former PBA D-League Most Valuable Player clanked his next three shots in the period – including a triple and a jumper on the same sequence – that led to the extension.
In the five-minute overtime session, Maliksi bungled two more and committed a turnover off an inbound even as Alaska pulled away thanks to six points from the energetic Calvin Abueva, dealing Star its second straight setback.
“Siguro this game, kung isisi sa akin, okay lang,” Maliksi told reporters after Wednesday night’s game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. “Kaya kong i-blame ang sarili ko kasi hindi ko nashoot yung mga tira ko na pampanalo, so sorry.
“Learning experience ito and sana ma-improve ko more as a player yung mga ganung moments na darating pa.”
Asked if he would have second thoughts of taking such responsibilities in the future, the former University of Santo Tomas standout preferred to embrace it more than ever.
“Siyempre di naman tayo yung player na parang ‘I missed’. Ang mas pangit is kung yung you quit trying. At least, I tried. Kung hindi, ok na isisi sa akin. Pag shumoot naman din at nanalo credit sa akin. Kung hindi, sige ok lang, sasaluhin ko kung anu man.”
Hotshots coach Chito Victolero was quick to back up Maliksi, saying he was the right person to be trusted upon at that time.
“Sa kanya talaga yung play, and down the stretch naka-shoot siya so I felt may confidence si Allein to take the shot,” Victolero said. “I can give it to Paul (Lee), I can give it to Marc Pingris, but I felt Allein has the confidence so sa kanya ko binigay, di lang pumasok.”
The Hotshots return to Araneta tomorrow for a crucial game against the TNT KaTropa. A third straight loss could put in danger Star’s quest to qualify for the eight-team quarterfinals.
And if the same situation occurs, Allein Maliksi is hoping to get another chance, and this time see his shots fall in.