MARQUS Blakely urged Purefoods players to remember the bitter feeling of losing in the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, something which he hopes would inspire the Hotshots to do better in the season-ending Governors Cup.
“(We need to) remember how we feel at this point because the next conference, we don’t want this to happen again,” said Blakely upon emerging from the gloomy Purefoods dugout following the team’s 79-66 loss to Talk ‘N Text in Game Four of their semifinals series Saturday.
“The quicker we get over it, the more you can grow from it, learn from it and be better,” explained the 26-year-old import who will reinforce the Hotshots in the season’s final conference beginning on May 5.
Blakely admitted feeling disappointed as Purefoods disintegrated in the best-of-five series, 3-1, losing three straight games and failing to defend its title from last year’s Grand Slam.
The 6-foot-4 Blakely, who led the Hotshots to a hot 3-0 start in the conference as a stand-in import, said the loss only goes to show Purefoods can’t win them all, especially since the team has a big target on its chest.
“That’s (series loss) something that happens. It’s not like we didn’t know it couldn’t happen, but we just have to try to get better every day I guess,” he said.
“Definitely, it’s (losing) not what we’re used to, but at the same time, you can’t win because you’re gonna have a target on your back, especially when you win a Grand Slam and have championships under your belt,” he added.
The former Vermon University standout said since arriving early last month from the United States, he has religiously worked on rehabbing his left shoulder since hurting it during his first game for Purefoods in the mid-season conference.
The energetic import actually joined the team as practice player, an advantage Blakely hopes to bank on because of his familiarity with coach Tim Cone’s triangle offense.
“That’s (practicing with the team) what I’m trying to do. While we’re working on this series, I was working to strengthen my shoulder but I’ll be ready for the third conference,” he said.
“We wanna work out on things and the bad habits we had, the little, minor details.”
Blakely, who led the Hotshots to the Governors Cup championships the last two seasons, owns career averages of 21.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.3 blocks and 2.3 steals in 65 games in the league.