Marqus Blakely’s storied PBA career is about to come to an end.
The 31-year old, former Best Import awardee broke into the league in 2012 and was unsuccessful in his first attempt at the Governors’ Cup crown. He returned the following year and powered the Magnolia Hotshots, then known as the San Mig Coffee Mixers, to back-to-back titles in the season-ending conference. The 2014 edition was extra special as it capped a Grand Slam year for the franchise.
Things, however, went downhill from that point on as his last four stints in the league were futile.
After he was released by the Hotshots in 2016, he suited up for TNT in 2018 and then for Blackwater the year after that.
But despite the recent setbacks, Blakely feels that he still has two more years of competitive basketball left in him and he’s keeping his fingers crossed that he’ll get another invitation – this time hopefully from Brgy. Ginebra. All because of Tim Cone.
“We go way back,” said Blakely during his interview with Rey Joble in The Link Podcast. “He’s a huge testament to San Mig Coffee’s success and mine, too, being a young basketball player coming in to the Philippines, not knowing too much about the PBA, and to have somebody like Tim Cone next to you, guiding you, kinda giving you warnings on the things to come and how you’re gonna deal with it. He always told me that.”
“Tim Cone, in general, is one of those people, not just coaches, that you can come across when it comes to winning, attitude and caring for the players. I think that’s the testament as to why he’s with Ginebra now, being able to have that charisma for everybody to jump on board and embrace never-say-die. Coach Tim knows exactly how to be successful — whether it’s Ginebra, San Mig Coffee or any other team. You started to believe and get in to buy in to that. I think you’ve seen Ginebra championships in the past conferences,” he added.
As an added bonus, one player close to him is currently playing on his ‘dream’ team.
“If I’m gonna go from the whole shebang, with the players and the coaches, it’s going to be Ginebra, for sure. Before, Joe Devance had invited me to dinner to his house. Coach Tim invited me to his house to have dinner every so often, just to show me the family atmosphere,” said Blakely.
“I think Ginebra is No.1 just to reconnect with Coach Tim and Joe and fortunately being able to experience Ginebra. Those are the kind of things that you really check on upon your list when San Mig Coffee played Ginebra. The atmosphere it created. It’s like a championship game right in the middle of the season. That was one thing all of us kinda cherished,” he added.