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Maliksi leads Blackwater to final quarterfinals slot

Blackwater Elite's Allein Maliksi | PBA Images

Games Wednesday (Ynares-Antipolo)

4:15 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Alaska

7 p.m. – Phoenix vs San Miguel
 
 
MANILA, Philippines -- Allein Maliksi fired 22 points in a solid Blackwater debut, and the Elite drew inspiration from their new teammate, thwarting the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 118-107, to complete the
Last Eight cast in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo Sunday night.
 
The Elite played notches up from their regular game on the entry of Maliksi, outplaying a GlobalPort side that drew tremendous blow on the ejection of top gun Terrence Romeo on a flagrant infraction midway through the second quarter.
 
Blackwater stormed to a 21-point spread in the third period and fended off GlobalPort’s late charge to seal a playoff entry with a fifth win in 10 outings.
 
It’s a major breakthrough for the Dioceldo Sy-owned ball club, which had never made it past the elims stage of any import-reinforced tourney in its first three years in the local pro league.
 
“The pregame instruction was to make it simple, avoid complications of a tie for the last quarters spot. We did avoid that with the win that automatically put us in the playoffs,” said coach Leo Isaac after steering the Elite to a second playoff entry after their first quarters passage in the 2016 Philippine Cup.

“Now we’re looking forward to our last game against Rain or Shine. We’ll try to further improve our standing. Our goal is to win as many games in the elims. We’ll play our very best even if we’re already assured of a quarters spot,” Isaac added.
 
Blackwater (5-5) completed the quarters cast, joining in the knockout stage early qualifiers Barangay Ginebra, Meralco, NLEX, TNT KaTropa, San Miguel, Star and Rain or Shine. Relegated in the sidelines are GlobalPort (3-7), Alaska Milk (3-7), Phoenix Petroleum (2-8) and Kia (0-10).
 
Romeo rued being helpless in the press room in the last 30 minutes of the game with his ejection for throwing the ball at Blackwater import Henry Walker.
 
"We’re down by 11 then and I thought he gave me a cheap shot. Frustration got the best of me,” said Romeo.
 
“(Romeo’s exit) was a big key. Romeo was on our radar as he’s averaging 20 points a game. When he’s ejected, he had already made 13. Imagine if he didn’t commit the flagrant. He would’ve been a big problem for us,” said Isaac.
 
The Elite, on the other hand, were all business, drawing double-digit outputs from Maliksi and five other players in Roi Sumang (21), Henry Walker (19), Mike Digregorio (16), Dave Ma4rcelo (13) and
Poy Erram (11).
 
Maliksi, a new trade recruit from the Star Hotshots, top scored with 22 points, including two three-pointers and 6-of-7 charities.
 
"He was impressive. He’s yet to fully adapt into our system, but he’s impressive with his individual play,” said Isaac.

Walker narrowly missed a triple-double job with 19 markers that went with 13 rebounds and nine assists. He also collected five steals and five blocks against three turnovers.
 
Murphey Holloway and Stanley Pringle led the losing team with 28 and 27 points, respectively.
 
The scores:
 
First Game

BLACKWATER 118 - Maliksi 22, Sumang 21, Walker 19, Digregorio 16, Marcelo 13, Erram 11, Belo 8, Pinto 8, Canaleta 0, Cruz 0.
 
GLOBALPORT 107 - Holloway 28, Pringle 27, Romeo 13, Baracael 11, Anthony 8, Guinto 6, Cortez 6, Arana 4, Cardona 4, Hubalde 0, Mamaril 0.

Quarters: 31-29, 62-50, 92-77, 118-107

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