Maliksi delivers for Blackwater to upset Meralco

The Blackwater Elite outlasted the top-seeded Meralco Bolts, 92-91, Tuesday to extend the quarterfinals into a do-or-die situation in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Allein Maliksi pulled off the game-winning basket from the free throw line from a setup pass from import Henry Walker with 9.5 seconds left. Blackwater defended well in the final seconds denying the Bolts to have a great shot. Blackwater’s defense just allowed a one hander just inside the three-pointer coming from Meralco’s Mike Tolomia but it was off.

Maliksi, who was acquired by the Elite in a trade on September 10, finished with 15 points and four rebounds. Meanwhile, Walker did the damage finished with 30 points, 19 of which were scored in the fourth quarter. As a matter of fact, Walker scored the first 18 points of Blackwater in the fourth quarter.

Michael Digregorio scored 20 points to help the cause of the Elite in paving a way for another game. The troika of Gregorio, Walker and Maliksi contributed enough to create a remarkable victory.

Chris Newsome posted 19 points to lead Meralco. Import Allen Durhamand Cliff Hodge had 18 points each for the Bolts to almost steal the game.

“Going into the final 15 seconds of the game with Meralco up by one, the instruction was to have a good shot and if there was opening, we take it,” Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac recalled.

“We challenged the players to face the situation. We wanted the ball to Walker but there was also an option for Maliksi,” Isaac said.

Blackwater and Meralco will have the win or go home game on Thursday.