Star makes it Wright | Inquirer Sports

Star makes it Wright

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:02 AM August 08, 2016

AFTER losing three of its four games, Star has decided to let go of long-time import Marqus Blakely, bringing in NBA D-League veteran Joel Wright in time for the Hotshots’ clash against NLEX in the PBA Governors’ Cup elimination round on Friday.

The Hotshots, who completed the league’s fifth Triple Crown sweep in 2014 with Blakely as an import under Tim Cone, pressed the panic button with the single round elimination nearing the halfway point already.

Tournament format calls for each team to play just 11 games, with only the top eight teams marching past the eliminations.


But qualifying in the upper half carries so much importance in the first round, as the top four will get twice-to-beat privileges against those in the bottom, with No. 1 clashing with No. 8; No. 2 slugging it out with No. 7; and Nos. 3 and 4 colliding with the sixth- and fifth-ranked squads, respectively.


Right now, the Hotshots are tied for eighth spot with Alaska, NLEX and Phoenix.

Star coach Jason Webb and his gang would need to win games in a string with Wright around to earn the quarterfinal advantage.

Star and NLEX tangle in the 7 p.m. game on Friday.

Blakely thus became the fourth import to be replaced in the tournament following Dominique Sutton of GlobalPort, Marcus Simmons of Phoenix Petroleum and the injured Paul Harris of Barangay Ginebra.

Harris, who came over almost a month before the start of the conference, broke his right thumb right in the Gin Kings’ first game and was replaced by Justin Brownlee.

Though Brownlee has proven to be a workhorse for Cone and the Kings, the former TNT KaTropa import Harris is still in the country recovering after surgery and remains an option to be reactivated


The Fuel Masters, meanwhile, unveiled a gem of a reinforcement in Eugene Phelps, who helped Phoenix snap a three-game losing streak last week with a 52-point debut, the second highest by an import since Darius Rice dropped 56 for Purefoods in the 2008 Fiesta Conference.

Mike Glover took over from Sutton but has so far been very unsuccessful with the Batang Pier, who are languishing in the cellar with four straight defeats.

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Wright, a former University of North Texas mainstay, wasn’t selected in the 2014 NBA Draft and took his act to the D-League, where he has career averages of 14.4 points, 6.1 rebounds in two seasons with four different teams.

TAGS: Basketball, Joel Wright, PBA, PBA Governors' Cup

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