Marqus Blakely could only watch from the sidelines when Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro burned the hoops at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday and in the process eliminated defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup champion Purefoods after a 79-66 loss.
It was the second straight crown yielded by the Star Hotshots after losing hold of the Philippine Cup trophy last conference, but while the agony of losing is something tough to overcome, it is part of the process in order to become better.
“It’s something that happens. You just try to remember how you feel at this point and bring it next conference as something that you don’t want to happen,” Blakely said.
“When you lose, you have to keep moving and learn from it. It’s about the minor details that you have to do more consistently to become a champion.”
Blakely’s description of defeat is accurate. Before becoming part of the team which copped two straight Governors’ Cup titles (2013-2014), Blakely was on the wrong end of the 2012 series against Rain or Shine.
Elasto Painters import Jamelle Cornley dominated in Game 7 while Blakely watched haplessly on the bench in the fourth quarter as he fouled out.
Rain or Shine eventually won the 2012 Governors’ Cup crown, but it did not stop Blakely from coming back strong. Losing, after all, is part of growth.
“You can’t win it all and you just have to understand that we have to bring our A game and people are rooting for us,” Blakely said. “It’s disappointing but you know that we have the talent. We go back to practice and we just try to get ready for the third conference. I’ll be ready.”
Now out of the Commissioner’s Cup picture, Blakely added it would be a perfect time for Purefoods to work on minor details which in the end may dictate the difference between a mediocre team and a team poised to win it all.
“We have time to work out on the bad habits that and little details. We won’t take a lot of time off. When you win it’s easy to relax and have a mentality to go out there thinking you’ll win,” he added.
“We have to remind ourselves of the smaller things that make us a championship-caliber team and not just a winning team. You got to compose the team. You can’t point a finger. There’s 15 people on the squad and you start with practice.”
One road has come to an end for the Star Hotshots, but it doesn’t mean it will be the last. A new journey is set to unfold and its ending depends on how Blakely and the rest of the squad plans to begin.
“You have to bring everything in practice to elevate the team’s morale and ability to win.”