ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – Marqus Blakely felt relieved after Blackwater Elite opted to stick with him for the rest of the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Blakely got replaced by Aaron Fuller for one game but immediately returned and starred in a 95-89 win over Magnolia on Wednesday, October 16, with 21 points, 13 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists, and 1 block.
Coach Aris Dimaunahan bared the 30-year-old American will be their permanent import moving forward after also considering Fuller as reinforcement.
“It’s a relief just understanding that every day I come to practice, we’re building towards playoffs and there’s no more competition,” Blakely told reporters.
“There’s no elephant in the room of who’s going to stay or who’s going to be the next import for the next game.”
“For me, and for, I think, the players, it’s a little bit of easy sleeping at night. We now know which direction we’re going for the rest of the conference.”
Blakely submitted a near quadruple-double outing in leading Blackwater to its first win of the conference only to witness Fuller take his place the next game in a crushing loss to Columbian on October 11.
However, Fuller has yet to fully recover from his ankle sprain, forcing Blackwater to go with Blakely for the long run.
“I feel like me and Aaron are two different types of players. Depending on who’s on the floor, local players have to adapt their game to the import too,” Blakely said.
The two-time PBA champion added: “I think one thing that I can bring is energy and a little wisdom when it comes to our rookies or young players on playing 48 minutes as best and as efficiently as they can.”
Now 2-3, Blackwater seeks to even its record against Meralco at the Ynares Center here on Friday, October 18. – Rappler.com