With import Daniel Orton coming in, substitute reinforcement Marqus Blakely is confident Purefoods Star is in good hands in its title-retention campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“He seems like a smart guy. He’ll be able to pick up the (triangle) offense,” said Blakely, the 26-year-old resident import of Purefoods who led the Hotshots to a 3-0 start as the team’s temporary reinforcement this conference.
“At this point it’s all about experience, knowing his teammates. Also through practice and being able to help them win, I think he’ll figure it out and adapt to the system,” added Blakely.
In the three games that the 6-foot-5 Blakely played this conference, he averaged a team-best 22 points, 13.4 rebounds, five assists, three steals and 2.7 shot blocks per game.
Blakely was tabbed as temporary import after plans to get the services of former import Denzel Bowles and Diamon Simpson did not materialize. Orton was signed only recently.
The 6-foot-9 Orton was supposed to play against Blackwater last Friday but was given a few more days to recuperate from a right hand injury and practice as well with the team.
“It’s important for us to get him on board quickly and know our offense and defensive tactics. He should also be the leader because as the import, you got to be the level-headed one out there, not only showing by your actions, but your words help out, too,” said Blakely.
“He’s also just got to play trough it (physicality in the PBA), and just don’t change your game because of it. I think he’ll be fine with it. But it’ll take a little get used to it,” added Blakely.
Orton, who recently played in China before coming here, will make his Purefoods debut on Wednesday against winless NLEX.
Before he leaves for the US, Blakely said he would seek a doctor’s opinion here regarding his dislocated right shoulder.
Although he was able to play through the pain, Blakely said a full recovery is required to make sure he’s 100 percent healthy and ready when he returns to action for Purefoods in the Governors’ Cup.
“I still have to figure out what’s the next best thing to do. I’m going to get one (medical opinion on his shoulder) here (in Manila) and I’m gonna get one in the States too, just to be sure and to know exactly what it is,” Blakely said.