IT has only been two years since the Purefoods franchise captured a grand slam in the PBA, but it seemed ages ago the way Star has been performing these days.
Hotshots import Marqus Blakely, however, stressed it wasn’t too long ago as he hopes to see his team rediscover its Grand Slam form starting in their Governors’ Cup match against Blackwater on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“It may seem like it’s very far off, how many conferences ago, but it really isn’t,” insisted Blakely, who led the franchise to the 2014 Governors’ Cup title to complete just the fifth grand slam in league history. “And that’s something that we got to refocus on.”
“We have to remember those moments when did win and what we did to get there,” the do-it-all reinforcement added.
The Hotshots have underperformed since they won four straight championships starting in the 2013 Governors’ Cup. Although consistently making the playoffs, they have failed to make it past the quarterfinals three times and reaching the semifinals only twice.
The mediocrity seemed to have continued in their debut in the current edition of the season-ending conference as they absorbed a 108-103 overtime loss to a young Mahindra side last Friday.
But Blakely, who registered 21 points, 15 boards, five assists, two blocks, and one steal in 48 minutes against the Enforcers, stressed it’s too early to push the panic button.
“Yeah (we still have the potential),” the 6-foot-5 import said. “It was just the first game and you got the jitters and everybody wanted to prove themselves.”
The Hotshots hope to get on the winning track in the 7 p.m. skirmish against the Elite, who are also seeking to make it to the winning column after surrendering a 96-90 decision at the hands of NLEX last Saturday.
Blakely matches up against a fellow returning import in Eric Dawson in the outing preceded by a faceoff between defending champion San Miguel Beer and NLEX at 4:15 p.m.