While there was no official statement from the Star Hotshots on why they eventually decided to trade ace gunner Allein Maliksi, there were reports that the deal was borne out of the team’s need for an import-stopper.
The Hotshots apparently initiated the deal by offering Maliksi to Blackwater for BamBam Gamalinda. To balance the trade, hardly-used big man Chris Javier was included in the package and the Elite threw in Kyle Pascual.
It seems to be as simple as that, but not if you take into consideration another deal that the Hotshots took part in not too long ago.
They traded Jake Pascual to the Alaska Aces for Rome dela Rosa, with coach Chito Victolero describing dela Rosa as the import-stopper he had long hoped for.
With dela Rosa already on board, the question that begs to be answered now is why would Star release a certified scorer in Maliksi for Gamalinda who like dela Rosa thrives more on the defensive end?
The 29-year old shooting guard out of UST is also the reigning three-point king of the PBA and just recently made it to Gilas Pilipinas by virtue of his good performance.
It really makes no sense at all. Until you consider what he has done also recently that may have probably forced the hand of somebody from SMC top management to permanently remove him out of the equation.
During the closing seconds of Game 4 of the 2017 Philippine Cup semis match-up between the Hotshots and Manila Clasico rival Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel, Maliski made the “luto” gesture after he was whistled for a loose ball foul against Sol Mercado.
Maliksi, along with Marc Pingris and Jio Jalalon, were later on summoned by Commissioner Chito Narvasa and subsequently fined.
Of the three, it was Maliksi who probably got the goat of SMC Sports Director Alfrancis Chua, who is also team governor of Brgy. Ginebra.
To make a long story short, Maliksi accused the referees of favoring the team of Chua, who indirectly is his ‘boss’. It may have happened two conferences ago but a grudge is still a grudge. And that probably delivered the final nail on his coffin, as far as his stint with an SMC team is concerned.
This is a theory which may or may not be true. In the end it’s up to the fans to decipher what really happened to former Star and now Blackwater guard Allein Maliksi. – Ronald Agbada