MARQUS Blakely stressed his missed three-pointer in the dying seconds wasn’t the only reason the Star Hotshots lost to Meralco, 83-81, on Sunday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Hotshots import said it was just one of many factors from early in the third quarter on that led to their second straight loss in a 'winnable' game, following a 91-89 defeat at the hands of GlobalPort last Tuesday.
“That last play was hard, but we didn’t lose that game on just that shot,” Blakely said, referring to his top-of-the key triple attempt in his team’s last offensive possession that rimmed out.
“It starts with our defense and flow and execution on offense,” he added.
Blakely felt the Hotshots had the opportunity to pull away from the Bolts in the third quarter and failed to take advantage.
“We need to come together as a team. We need to grow from it as a team and just understand how teams like these that we have a chance to beat, we got to put down in the third and fourth quarters.”
“We just got to grind it out and finish games,” he added.
The Hotshots could’ve certainly had more options at crunch time, but usual closers James Yap and PJ Simon both surprisingly spent the final moments of the see-saw battle that went down the wire on the bench.
But Blakely is not questioning coach Tim Cone’s decision to stick with a quintet of Joe Devance, Marc Pingris, Alex Mallari, Justin Melton, and him down the stretch.
“I’m just trying to do what I could do out there to try and help my teammates, whoever’s on the floor,” the do-it-all American reinforcement said.
“I felt that he (Cone) gave us the best chance to win,” he added. “We just didn’t execute.”
Cone left the Astrodome without bothering to gather the team for a post-match huddle.