Purefoods’ Star Hotshots team governor Rene Pardo announced on Sunday that the team has chosen Joel Wright to replace import Marqus Blakely when the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup resumes this week.
Pardo said the coaching staff headed by Jason Webb and team manager Alvin Patrimonio approved the decision unanimously before the start of the All-Star weekend.
The Star Hotshots were struggling with a record of one win against three losses.
“We need a new import because we’re down 1-3,” Pardo told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “I haven’t seen him played yet in actual practice because I’m busy with the All-Star. But based on the videos that I’ve seen, I think he’s okay.”
Blakely, who played for five years for the Star Hotshots, the majority of those years under former coach Tim Cone, notched an average of 19 points, 16.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.6 blocks in the first four games of Governors’ Cup.
“All the imports are playing better and we need an import who can provide us the scoring and who can perform consistently well. On the part of Blakely, he served us very well in previous years and he understands the decision.”
“He was already brought to the clinic for measurement and he was measured around 6-foot-4. I think he is good because he was recommended by import agent Sheryl Reyes,” he added. “I’m still very optimistic of our chances this conference.”
Wright, 26, is coming off an impressive stint in the NBA-Developmental League with an average of 14.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 37 games during the 2015-2016 season.
The Star Hotshots will play against the Northern Luzon Expressway on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.