Marqus Blakely in the mix as Denzel Bowles’ replacement

Star coach Jason Webb said they won’t stand in the way should beleaguered import Denzel Bowles leave the Hotshots prematurely following the death of a close relative over the weekend.

“Denzel might have to leave soon, pero sa ngayon, di pa natin alam kung aalis na siya at kung kailan,” Webb told FOX Sports on Thursday after practice.

Webb admitted that the past days have been difficult emotionally for the sweet-shooting Bowles, whose close relative passed away a few days back.

“I’ve spoken to him (Bowles) yesterday and today and he’s really down,” said Webb.

Read: Denzel Bowles leaving Star to attend death of relative

“Before he came here, his mom also got sick and was in the hospital and now this. But I just told him that I’m here for you.”

Bowles did not join the team’s practice the past 2 days since learning that his close relative passed away in the US.

The freshman Star coach said they are currently looking for the best available talent to fill in for the former Best Import.

But so far, they have yet to find one with just 3 days left before the crucial game against the Tropa.

“We’ll have to look for someone, basically the vest available talent because we’re also in a bind,” stressed the 42-year-old Webb, whose team fell to 1-4 following Sunday’s 92-87 loss to rival Barangay Ginebra.

Read: Mark Barroca says Star needs to talk more even as crowds go louder

Webb said resident import Marqus Blakely is always in the equation if ever, though they intend to look for other options as well.

Bowles is coming off a personal conference-low 15 points Sunday against the Kings.

The former James Madison University standout averaged 26.4 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.2 blocks in 5 games for the Hotshots.

Star’s lone victory in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup was a 122-103 spanking of Blackwater last week.

By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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