The countless hours Allein Maliksi logged in during the offseason to work on his shooting is finally paying off.
Maliksi was on target from beyond the arc on Sunday, registering a perfect 6-of- 6 from the three-point territory to get Star off the hump with a confidence-building 96-88 win over defending champion Tropang TNT in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The former PBA D-League MVP finished the game with a PBA career-high 29 points to help Star resurrect its playoffs hopes in the import-laden conference.
Maliksi’s hot-shooting effort earned him his first Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week nod, beating the likes of Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, Alaska forward Vic Manuel as well as San Miguel slot man June Mar Fajardo for the citation.
Star rookie coach Jason Webb attested to the 6-foot-3 wingman’s hard work.
“The guy is really working hard, being the last one to leave the gym,” said Webb in commending his emerging small forward.
At 2-4, Star still has a lot of catching up to do, but Webb believes they are already discovering the right mix as far as the player rotation is concerned.
“The good thing about this is, Allein is now coming off the bench, while James (Yap) is back as a starter and his natural position,” he said.
“And you can see he’s playing much better.” (RD)