SAN Mig import Marqus Blakely is well aware that Alaska is trying to exploit his poor free-throw shooting, which has been his Achilles heel so far in his return stint with the Mixers.
The American import, however, has vowed to make the Aces pay for the strategy when the two teams square off again in a sudden-death match for a place in the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals.
The 25-year-old Blakely has made just 40.8 percent of his free throws this conference (69-of-169), the reason most teams have been sending him to the stripe almost 17 times per contest.
Alaska has been no different and the gambit has paid off so far, with Blakely going just 9-of-22 from the line in a 112-105 Aces victory that dragged twice-to-beat San Mig into a death match on Friday.
That prompted Alaska coach Luigi Trillo to say: “Blakely, he’s a beast but he still has to prove he can shoot his free-throws.”
Blakely, though, has vowed to make the Aces pay in their next game.
“I mean, it’s not a secret right now. As a team we struggle (from the free-throw line). And me, I’ll just do my routine and be prepared mentally,” Blakely told Spin.ph.
“It’s nothing special, sometimes I struggle (to shoot free-throws) and that’s something I have to personally work on. We’re playing our cards. I just have to make them (Aces) pay every time I go to the line,” he added.