With the arrival of do-it-all import Marqus Blakely, Star Hotshots’ veterans Mark Barroca and Peter June Simon could not help but see a bright future ahead of their Governors’ Cup campaign.
Barroca even likened Blakely’s presence in the squad to the incoming national administration’s slogan, as the Hotshots hopes to save their best for last after dismal outings in the past 2 conferences this season.
“Sabi ko sa kanila ‘change is coming’ kasi last na semifinals namin sa kanya eh, so hopefully makabalik kami doon,” said Barroca to FOX Sports after their Wednesday morning practice at the Ronac Gym in San Juan.
True enough, Blakely’s stint in the PBA is almost synonymous to a sure title shot as the 27-year old do-it-all import led the Purefoods’ franchise in winning 2 championships out of 3 consecutive Finals appearances in the Governors’ Cup from 2012-2014.
Barroca also stressed that their battle-tested import will thrive in the new system of head coach Jason Webb after years of being under veteran coach Tim Cone.
“Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘yung sistema fit sa iyo ‘to kasi yun talaga yung game na lalabas dito. Tingin ko si Marqus lagi siyang double-double dito lagi kasi ito yung game nya talaga eh,” said Barroca on Blakely, who just arrived on Tuesday.
While echoing his teammate’s impression, Simon added Blakely can easily inject positive energy in practice.
“Bumalik yung excitement kasi masaya talaga kasama si Marqus, yung energy kasi yun yung nadadala niya sa team,” said the Cotabato native in a separate interview to FOX Sports.
But for Simon, the Star’s fortunes in the season-ending conference will still depend on the locals’ contribution.
“It starts with us then, kailangan rin naming tumulong sa kanya kasi talagang ginagawa niya naman talaga lahat,” Simon said. – By Jason Mercene
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