PBA: Marqus Blakely disappointed as he misses playoffs for the first time

Philip Matel on Nov 04, 2018 11:14 PM
Blakely disappointed as he misses playoffs for 1st time
It was not to be for the Marqus Blakely and the TNT KaTropa pairing.

It was not to be for the Marqus Blakely and the TNT KaTropa pairing. 

The 2017-18 PBA season of the KaTropa had prematurely ended at the hands of the two-time defending conference champions Ginebra San Miguel with a deflating 112-93 loss Sunday evening at the Big Dome. 

For the first time in his PBA career, the veteran import failed to make a postseason, a far cry from his glory days as the reinforcement of the Grand Slam San Mig Coffee team coached by none other than Tim Cone.

Per PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon III, it is also the first time since the 2015 PBA Governors' Cup that the flagship franchise of the MVP group failed to qualify to the playoffs.

As the third import for the embattled conference which also saw a coaching change in the person of Bong Ravena and consultant Mark Dickel, Blakely knew that it was going to be a gigantic task to help tow the team to a top-eight finish.

"We came together as a team. Got a couple of wins, but unfortunately, we didn't finish strong. That's one thing that veteran teams and teams with chemistry can do," Blakely said.

"There's a lot of things going on in this conference. I think for what we had, the time that we had, we did all right. We did pretty well. I figured it takes a little bit more time and practice to get where we wanted to be."

The Metuchen, New Jersey native however did not point fingers at anybody else but himself, for he believed that the team could get over the hump, but unfortunately for them, they could not.

He also shared that he had a light moment with Cone, whom he has not seen since their Grand Slam finish back in 2014.

"[I]t's just good to see him, talk to him. Unfortunately, he was on the other side. We just talked for a little moment."

The decision on whether to return to the country or not as a player will not rely entirely on himself, but Blakely assures he'll be ready if any team calls him for another tour of duty.

Meanwhile for Cone, Blakely will always have a special place in his heart since he was his second import since Sean Chambers back in 1996 to have completed the rare three-peat.

"I have so many many fond memories of Marqus and how he turned around our program at that time. He came in and played with such heart and intensity. He’s defensive-minded and he turned everybody that way and how we played. He’s a great influencer," the winningest coach in PBA history said.

"I have just tremendous feelings for Marqus. He’s a great guy. He’s a great competitor."

Blakely meanwhile returned the love the seasoned coach gave to him.

"I miss him, too," before ending it with a laugh. 


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