Opening the new conference with a loss may be a downer, but Star’s comebacking import Marqus Blakely believes everyone in the team will just have to recall what they did well during their championships years under former coach Tim Cone.
Blakely noted that Cone’s coaching tenure that ended last year yielded 5 championships in 4 seasons because of his ability to teach the system, while helping everyone understand what it takes for the franchise to win.
“When coach Tim was here (as coach), like I said, he’s a teacher. Not only was he a coach, and I think that helped a lot of the guys mature to where they are today,” Blakely said, moments after Star fell to Mahindra, 100-92 in overtime in the main game of the PBA Governors Cup opening day on Friday.
“But we have to remember those moments when we did win and go to the playoffs and what we did to get there,” he added.
The 6-foot-4 Blakely, known for his athleticism and quick motors reflexes, led the Purefoods franchise to back-to-back Governors Cup titles during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
The former PBA Best Import hardly missed a beat in his 5th tour of duty, finishing with an all-around stats line of 21 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks.
The only difference, he said was the team’s inability to play consistently on both ends of the floor against a Mahindra side that rewarded debuting lead assistant coach Chris Gavina with a win.
“We showed some signs that we can do it and then we may go to 5-minute stretch where we won’t do it,” Blakely said.
“That’s (consistency) something we need to mentally know and mentally understand for us to win.”
Star has a week to work on its plays before returning to action on July 22 against Blackwater. – By Richard Dy
Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava