A good showing in the East Asia League Terrific 12 tournament could open the door for Marqus Blakely to be Blackwater's regular import for the season-ending PBA Governors Cup.
The Elite said the Sept. 17 to 22 meet in Macao is likely to serve as Blakely's tryout with the team as he came over as a late replacement for the injured Aaron Fuller.
The former Best Import, who won back-to-back championships with San Mig Coffee in the 2013 and 2014 Governors Cup editions, arrived in the country on Sunday and quickly joined the Elite in practice.
"Nag walk through lang siya ng set (plays) naming kaso kakalapag niya lang talaga," said coach Aris Dimaunahan.
Initially, Fuller was the original choice of Blackwater to team up with Alex Stepheson for the franchise's second straight campaign in the Asia League.
Unfortunately, the 29-year-old Fuller, who previously suited up for NLEX, rolled his ankle during practice a week before the tournament, prompting management to scour for an immediate replacement.
At the most, doctors said Fuller will be out for three weeks.
The time frame meant he won't be available too, when Blackwater makes its debut in the third conference on Sept. 25 against TnT Katropa.
The Elite will then take on the NLEX Road Warriors on Sept. 29 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Blakely is expected to suit up in those two games, according to Dimaunahan.
"He will definitely play for us on our first two games," he said.
Still, the Elite are not totally discounting out Fuller as they have to assess how Blakely would be able to fit in with the rest of the team.
Management hopes to come up with a choice by the end of the month.(RG)