SAN Mig import Marqus Blakely knows how to give credit where credit is due.
The import returnee acknowledged how Alaska’s defense took him out of his comfort zone, allowing the Aces to pull off a 112-105 win and force a winner-take-all on Friday for a berth in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals.
The 6-foot-5 Blakely fired 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Mixers, but turned the ball over twice during a searing fourth quarter rally by the Aces on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“We just didn’t play defense. I mean every time you give 100 plus points in a ball game, especially when we pride ourselves on defense, on points allowed, and they outscored us tonight,” said Blakely, who finished with five turnovers and continues to shoot atrociously from the foul line where he went 9-of-22.
Blakely got away with 28 boards in San Mig’s 95-82 win over Alaska in their only meeting in the eliminations last Sept. 10.
But on this night, he was nowhere near his ferocious form.
“Their (Aces) scheme was just to be very physical on me. They know where I was at all times,” explained Blakely, one of the top candidates for the Best Import award.
“The last time we played, I had a lot of rebounds but now, they put a body on me and played it physical. They did a good job on that,” he added.
Despite wasting a golden opportunity to finish off the their seventh-seeded opponent, Blakely vows to bounce back strong on Friday when the Mixers clash anew with the Aces at the Mall of Asia Arena in a sudden-death.
The winner advances to the semifinals to face Meralco.