Maliksi, Pinto step up for Meralco to increase semis

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Pinto Meralco Bolts

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MANILA, Philippines—Meralco was in determined want of a win in Recreation 5 of its semifinals sequence towards Magnolia. Fortuitously for the Bolts, they ignited much-needed firepower from Allein Maliksi and John Pinto, who delivered profession performances.

The pair fired on all cylinders to energy the Bolts to an important 102-98 win over the Hotshots and trim the sequence deficit to 3-2 within the semifinals of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.

Maliksi completed with a playoff career-high 29 factors on the again of seven three-pointers—additionally a profession greatest—and was massive down the stretch for the Bolts as he went on a private 9-3 run that gave his crew a 99-93 lead with 1:21 to play.

“With our backs towards the wall, we simply wanted to offer our pure effort. As for myself, I knew I needed to step up as a result of this can be a do-or-die recreation for us,” mentioned Maliksi on Wednesday at DHVSU Health club in Bacolor, Pampanga. “I ought to set an excellent instance for my teammates as a result of I’m one of many crew’s veterans.”

“We simply have to offer it our all on this sequence, and technically the strain isn’t on us anymore however we do know our state of affairs. We lose one and we’re out, we go residence, that’s why we simply have to offer our greatest effort.”

Pinto additionally performed his greatest recreation within the PBA when he completed with a career-high 24 factors with 5 assists whereas holding his personal towards Hotshots’ vaunted backcourt of Paul Lee and Mark Barroca on the defensive finish.

Maliksi mentioned he talked to Pinto throughout the recreation to be one other scoring punch for the Bolts because the crew couldn’t simply depend on one or two gamers to push them previous Magnolia.

“I at all times discuss to Nards and I instructed him that he must be aggressive as a result of the protection is virtually staying with me and it may well’t simply be New (Chris Newsome) or Bong (Quinto) who would create offense for us,” mentioned Maliksi.

“I’m actually happy with Nards for what he did as we speak.”

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