PBA: After two-game run, Curtis Kelly grateful for experience with Magnolia
Santino Honasan on Jun 06, 2018 08:25 PM
"Here it’s more like family -- they took care of me, they looked out for me. I appreciate everything they did for me.”
Magnolia import Curtis Kelly’s run in the PBA hasn’t gotten off to a good start.
Kelly replaced former Hotshots reinforcement Vernon Macklin and made his debut against Rain or Shine, where he put up decent numbers, 19 points and 15 rebounds. Unfortunately it didn’t translate into a win as the Hotshots fell to the ElastoPainters, 99-96.
Wednesday afternoon against Blackwater at the Araneta Coliseum, Kelly’s numbers dipped, only managing 12 points and nine rebounds, and the Hotshots dropped their second consecutive game, 86-84 following a Henry Walker game-winning dunk.
“I think they had a great defensive gameplan which was off the pick and roll,” Kelly said after the loss. “Everytime I would drive, Henry Walker will come help. And they clogged the paint which I where I like to work. They had a great game plan. They did a great job. They did well.”
Looking at the stat sheet, it’s obvious that the Blackwater defense had Kelly checked. The six-foot-ten big man out of New York was held to just eleven shots, making just six of them. What’s more is that he only went to the line once, missing both tries.
Now, after two losses and a pair of subpar offensive games, it looks as if Kelly's time with Magnolia has come to an abrupt end.
According to PBA Press Corps President Gerry Ramos of SPIN.ph, former Cincinnati Bearcat Justin Jackson has been tapped to take Kelly's place after the two-game run.
“I don't know what the future holds for me in the Hotshots but I'm very thankful for the opportunity and whatever they decide I'm all for it.” Kelly post-game. "As far as I know that pretty much is my deciding game. With the loss, I won't be surprised what the outcome is.”
And while wasn’t able to taste victory in the PBA, Kelly had nothing but positive words for his team and his experience playing in the league.
“My experience went pleasant. I enjoyed playing for a family. The team I played for prior to coming here in France wasn’t nothing like this as far as management and players. Here it’s more like family -- they took care of me, they looked out for me. I appreciate everything they did for me.”
"I'm extremely thankful and I'm blessed to be here. I came from an eight-month season, came out here and tried to make the best out of the opportunity to provide more for my family. I play hard, you know. You can tell that I play as hard as I can.” Kelly added.
The Magnolia Hotshots will try to snap their current losing skid when they take on the Alaska Aces on Sunday, June 10th at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.