Maliksi catches fire at the right time for Meralco in Game 6 win vs Ginebra

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Maliksi catches fire at the right time for Meralco in Game 6 win vs Ginebra
Allein Maliksi
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- Struggling in the first half, Allein Maliksi came up huge in the fourth quarter as he helped the Meralco Bolts force a Game 7 against Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals match on Wednesday.

The Bolts held on late in Game 6, 86,81, to set the win-or-go-home Game 7, which will be held in Batangas.

Maliksi was scoreless in the first half of Wednesday’s Game 6 as he attempted just two shots. After scoring just two points in the first three quarters, the sweet-shooting forward erupted for 12 points in the final canto.

With Meralco leading by just five, 73-68, with 4:36 remaining, Maliksi took over and scored nine points in a two minute stretch to keep the Gin Kings at bay, 82-74 with 2:11 to go.

After the game, the veteran forward tipped his hat to his team for continuing to trust him despite his early offensive woes.

“I give credit to my coaches and my teammates. They never gave up on me. They still believed in me even though the whole game I was really struggling,” he told reporters.

“As I said, I just needed one open shot and I will get my rhythm,” he added.

After making a layup in the third quarter, he missed his next four shots as he just could not get going.

Come the fourth quarter, he made a big 3-pointer that capped an 8-0 run by the Bolts, with five coming from Bong Quinto, that turned a 56-57 deficit to a 64-57 lead.

The blitz turned the tides on the match as the Gin Kings played catch up the rest of the way.

Ginebra was able to cut the lead to three late, but a pair of free throws by Chris Newsome iced the game.

Maliksi also lauded Quinto, who topscored for the Bolts with 23 points off of 9-of-16 shooting, for carrying the slack early on.

“In this series, we need everyone against Ginebra. Everyone should be able to produce, and we cannot have bad games,” he said.

“It is hard to win if there are a couple of players struggling. Their team is strong, their lineup, plus the system of Coach Tim [Cone,]” he added.

“Everybody should be able to contribute.”

The Game 7 is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. at the FPJ Arena in San Jose, Batangas.

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