Maliksi hits game-winner as Blackwater sends QF series vs Meralco to sudden death

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Allein Maliksi indeed has found a new home.

Maliksi dropped the marginal basket as eighth-seeded Blackwater stunned top-seeded Meralco, 92-91, in Game 1 of their PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals series at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Tuesday night.

The six-foot-four winger, who joined the Elite via a trade with the Star Hotshots, scored a 15-foot jumper with 9.5 seconds left as they canceled the Bolts's twice-to-beat advantage and forced a rubber match on Thursday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

It was actually a wild last 6:24 of the game as back-to-back triples from Jared Dillinger put Meralco ahead, 79-78, after trailing by as much as six early in the fourth quarter.

Henry Walker answered with his own triple that put Blackwater back up, 81-79, with 5:28 to go, and the game became a seesaw battle for most of the remainder, eventually leading to Maliksi's go-ahead basket.

Mike Tolomia had one more chance to eliminate the Elite, but he missed his potential game-winner as time expired.

Walker led Blackwater with 30 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block, while Mike DiGregorio added 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

Maliksi would finish with 15 markers along with four rebounds, two dimes, and one steal.

Chris Newsome tallied 19 points, eight caroms, five assists, and two blocks, while Allen Durham and Cliff Hodge each had 18 markers for Meralco.

Box Scores:

Blackwater 92-Walker 30, Digregorio 20, Maliksi 15, Sumang 9, Erram 7, Sena 4, Marcelo 4, Canaleta 3, Belo 0, Pinto 0, Cruz 0

Meralco 91-Newsome 19, Durham 18, Hodge 18, Dillinger 12, Tolomia 11, Amer 8, Hugnatan 5, Lanete 0, Caram 0, De Ocampo 0

Quarterscores: 24-17, 42-40, 63-62, 92-91

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