MARQUS Blakely only had one piece of advice for incoming Purefoods import Daniel Orton - lead by example.
“It’s important for us to get him (Orton) on board quickly and know our offense and defensive tactics,” Blakely said shortly after playing his final game with the Hotshots in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday night.
“Then, be the leader because as the import, you gotta be the level-headed one out there, not only showing by your actions, but your words help out, too.”
Blakely punctuated his farewell game in the mid-season tournament with another all-around performance of 23 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and three steals to lead the Hotshots to a 98-86 dumping of Blackwater at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The win vaulted the Hotshots to a 3-0 start, tying idle Meralco Bolts at the top of the standings.
Blakely said despite the team’s fast start, Orton will have to adjust quickly in order to sustain the early gains the Hotshots have established.
And despite nursing an injured left shoulder, the 6-foot-4 Blakely intends to help Orton out in practice in his remaining days in Manila before flying out to the United States.
Purefoods governor Rene Pardo said Blakely’s contract ends on February 15.
The former Vermon standout added he’ll first seek medical opinion from different doctors just to see if he’ll still have to undergo shoulder surgery.
“I still have to figure out what’s the next best thing to do,” said the 26-year-old resident import of Purefoods.
“I’m gonna get one (medical opinion on his shoulder) here (in Manila) and I’m gonna get one too, in the US just to be sure and to know exactly what it is.”
Orton was originally scheduled to play against Blackwater, but had to let Blakely play one more time to rest his shooting hand which he injured in a game in China.
The next few days will give the former Kentucky big man enough time to recuperate before debuting next Wednesday against the Al Thornton-led NLEX Road Warriors.