The Meralco Bolts began preparation for the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, by signing incoming 10-year swingman Allein Maliksi to a contract extension.

Maliksi inked on the dotted line while in the presence of team manager Paolo Trillo and agent Danny Espiritu, becoming the latest player to receive a fresh deal.

The Bolts had earlier given new contracts to veteran Reynel Hugnatan, backup big man Jammer Jamito and even Michael Canete, who was not part of the team’s campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The new deal came on the same day Meralco started group workouts at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. The Bolts were one of the first squads allowed to train after securing a clearance from the Games and Amusements Board and the local LGU.

PBA teams are only allowed to train in batches, much like in the weeks prior to their entry inside the bubble in Pampanga.

Maliksi averaged 11.7 points on 41-percent shooting with 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 18 games that saw Meralco come one win short of reaching the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

He scored in double digits 11 times during the lone conference of the 45th season, including a season-high 24 points against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in Game 1 of the semifinals.

A former University of Santo Tomas product and the first Most Valuable Player of the PBA D-League back in 2011, Maliksi had played for four teams prior to joining Meralco, namely Barako Bull (twice), Ginebra, San Mig Super Coffee/Star and Blackwater.

Source: Manila Bulletin (