Consistency of shooters Maliksi, Wright are the keys against Indonesia, says Reyes

Allein Maliksi and Matthew Wright

Only 40 basketball minutes separate Gilas Pilipinas from getting into the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification process which begins in November this year.

Gilas defeated Vietnam, 107-52 in the 2017 SEABA Championships in Manila last Wednesday to remain unbeaten in the tournament and set up a virtual title match against Indonesia on Thursday, May 18.

Coach Chot Reyes

Indonesia is likewise perfect in the tournament so far, presenting itselr as the biggest threat to Gilas in the regional meet. And with the returning Jamarr Johnson and Arki Wisnu both suiting up, it is expected to be an exciting final game for both sides.

Gilas head coach Reyes said after the win over Vietnam that having his shooters make baskets consistently will be one of the keys for that contest.

“We all know what Matthew (Wright) and Allein (Maliksi) can do. That’s their role in this team. The key for them is consistency. Can they shoot the same tomorrow, when there are much bigger stakes, when there are much bigger opponents,” Reyes said.

It makes perfect sense. While Wright led Gilas against Vietnam with 19 points, five coming from three-point area, Maliksi struggled, making only one of seven long-range attempts for eight points total.

In the tournament, Wright is shooting a staggering 55.6 percent clip from downtown. Maliksi meanwhile is second behind Wright in three-point makes per game with 1.8.

“That’s the key. We will see how far the guys have come,” Reyes said.

Maliksi said he is motivated to help the national team clinch the title for the simple fact that it is his first taste of international action.

“I am so happy and blessed to be part of this team. First ko to be part of the national team. First championship ko sa Gilas if we win the SEABA. First achievement ko internationally. Medyo nakakafulfill din sa feeling kapag nagkataon and grateful ako to be part of Gilas,” Maliksi said.

Wright, meanwhile, noted having guys like Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Calvin Abueva gives him more opportunities to score buckets.

“Those guys make (the job) so much easier for me,” he said. “I felt I fit in right away. I thought we broke that barrier during the all star game already. I enjoyed practices, but the veterans are the ones making it easy for me. They don’t necessarily treat me as a rookie or make me feel I am inferior to them because I am younger. That also helps in developing team camaraderie and team bonding.”

With Gilas and Indonesia both shooting 36.5 percent from three-point area, it will be interesting to see if the final game of the 2017 SEABA will be a shoot-out.

Written by Levi Verora Jr
Photos by Glenn Michael Tan





2 Responses to Consistency of shooters Maliksi, Wright are the keys against Indonesia, says Reyes

  1. Augus\t C. Fernando says:

    Jayson Castro and Terence Romeo MUST wake up tonight. It’s high time for them. They’be be under-achieving in the 1st 5 games. Seemingly lost. No chutzpatch like before. Whats going on with these duo? Are they just reserving their explosion against Indonesia? I hope so. It’s a MUST for them to make their presence felt. And pogoy should be consistent,too. So far, only aside from Blatche, Wright and Julalon have been consistent. the others are LULUBOG-LILITAW. That’s not the way to win a crown, ok? And Jun Mar MUST stop his LAZY, EASY to intercept passes. Para siyang bata eh! PLUS PLEASE DO REMEMBER: Make your FREE SHOTS regularly!!

  2. Augus\t C. Fernando says:

    Jayson Castro and Terence Romeo MUST wake up tonight. It’s high time for them. They’ve been under-achieving in the 1st 5 games. Seemingly lost. No chutzpatz like before. What’s going on with these duo? Are they just reserving their explosion against Indonesia? I hope so. It’s a MUST for them to make their presence felt NOW. And Pogoy should be consistent,too. So fa only — aside from Blatche == Wright and Julalon have been consistent. the others are LULUBOG-LILITAW. That’s not the way to win a crown, ok? And Jun Mar MUST stop his LAZY, EASY to intercept passes. Para siyang bata eh! PLUS PLEASE DO REMEMBER: Make your FREE SHOTS regularly!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *