PBA Finals: Lights-out shooting for Bolts in Game 2? Allein Maliksi hopes so

Published January 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Waylon Galvez

After shooting bricks in Game 1 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals Tuesday, Meralco forward Allein Maliksi, who went 0-of-5 from the field, has vowed to keep his finger on the trigger going to Game 2 against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

Meralco's Allein Maliksi, who went 0-of-5 from the field in Game 1, hopes to bounce back and find shooting rhythm in Game 2 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals. (PBA Images)
Meralco’s Allein Maliksi, who went 0-of-5 from the field in Game 1, hopes to bounce back and find shooting rhythm in Game 2 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. (PBA Images)

“Mga open shots naman halos lahat, hindi lang talaga pumapasok,” said Maliksi, 4 of whose misses came from beyond the arc. “Pero para sa akin, tuloy lang namin kung ano yung ginagawa namin, tira pa din kami outside.”

This is no time to be faint of heart, said Maliksi.

“May mga game talaga na you have an off-night… nangyari sa amin sa Game 1. Adjustment konti, confident pa din dapat sa tira. Hindi dapat na ma-down kami after that loss; importante na makabawi kami.”

Brought to Meralco via a trade with Blackwater during the elimination round, Maliksi actually played well for coach Norman Black during the semifinal series against TNT KaTropa. Against Ginebra, however, Maliksi lost his touch.

He wasn’t alone with cold hands that night for the Bolts.

Chris Newsome collected 24 points but was 3-of-10 on his three-point attempts, while import Allen Durham, who led Meralco with 25 points, missed all his four attempts from trifecta.

Raymond Almazan, a 6-foot-9 center who developed his shooting abilities as a member of Rain or Shine, had a better shooting from the arc as he connected two on three tries, while the usually prolific shooters Baser Amer and rookie Bong Quinto shot a combined 2-of-10.

As a whole, the Bolts shot 7-of-32 from three-point range in Game 1, or just 21 percent, which is far from their second-best ranking this conference of almost 37 percent behind the 38 percent of the Kings.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well particularly from three-point land,” said Black. “Ginebra does a good job of clogging the paint defensively. They want you to shoot from the outside.”

“Normally… we do a good job of shooting at a high percentage but tonight we did not. Even if we had open looks, we just couldn’t make it.”

Meralco coach Norman Black expects an improvement in Game 2 from his wards, especially a breakthrough for guard Baser Amer, after the Bolts yielded to the Ginebra Gin Kings in Game 1 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Jan. 7, 2020. (PBA Images)
Meralco coach Norman Black expects an improvement in Game 2 from his wards, especially a breakthrough for guard Baser Amer, after the Bolts yielded to the Ginebra Gin Kings in Game 1 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Jan. 7, 2020. (PBA Images)

In comparison, the Kings also struggled from the three-point territory, just a bit better than the Bolts as they converted 25 percent (7-of-28). Import Justin Brownlee shot 5-of-13, while new recruit Stanley Pringle made 1-of-5.

Black expects improvement in Game 2 set Friday in Lucena City, particularly from their lead point guard in Amer, who scored just nine points with three rebounds in almost 29 minutes of action.

“We have to find a way for Baser to breakthrough,” said Black, pointing to the struggles Amer had since the first two finals in this same conference against Ginebra in 2016 and 2017.

“He just have to dig deep and breakthrough and have a great game,” added Black.

 
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