Blackwater is not yet done tweaking its roster.
After acquiring Chris Ellis last week from Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, the Elite acquired another versatile forward in Allein Maliksi in a four-player deal that is expected to be finalized on Monday by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Office.
Maliksi and role player Chris Javier were dealt to Blackwater in exchange for Bambam Gamalinda and Kyle Pascual, according reliable sources.
The 6-foot-4 Maliksi, who averaged only 8.7 points and two rebounds in seven games this conference, is expected to boost the firepower of Elite, who are fighting for a quarterfinal slot in the PBA Governors Cup.
But Blackwater lost a couple of steady players in Gamalinda and Pascual although Dave Marcelo, who was part of the Ellis trade, is expected to lead the frontline of the franchise.
The Elite also lost the injured Art Dela Cruz and Raymond Aguilar in the Ellis deal.
Maliksi, who was part of the Star Hotshots’ grand slam in 2014, started his career with Barako Bull in 2011. He was also part of Gilas Pilipinas team last May that won the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship last May in Manila.
Gamalinda is averaging 7.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in nine games for the Elite. The former San Beda College forward will give the Hotshots an all-around player. The 6-foot-6 Pascual adds youth to the aging frontline of the Star led by Marc Pingris and Rafi Reavis.
Pascual will fight minutes with Ian Sanggalang and Aldrech Ramos at the No. 4 position.
JOSEF T. RAMOS