IF the pieces could have been assembled earlier, things could have turned out for the better for TnT Katropa.
"We're still a new team after coach came in, I came in, there's just a lot of things going on in this conference.
Just the same, import Marqus Blakely thought the Katropa did a good run for a berth in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals that fell short Sunday following the team's 112-93 loss at the hands of two-time defending champion Barangay Ginebra.
It will be the first time the Katropa won't be in the playoffs since the 2015 Governors Cup.
But Blakely believes the team chemistry was something TnT lacked especially after head coach Bong Ravena and consultant Mark Dickel took over handling the team midway through the season-ending meet.
Ravena and Dickel came on board at about the same time Blakely, a former two-time Best Import awardee, arrived in the country to replace Stacey Davis.
"I think it just takes a little bit more time and practice to get to where we are."
It was an enormous task which awaited Blakely upon his arrival as the Katropa had already lost four of their first six outings by that time, meaning the team needs to sweep its last five remaining games to make the playoffs trouble-free.
After winning back-to-back games with Blakely leading the charge, TnT lost its last three games of the season to bow out of contention.
"All I takes was a couple of wins, other teams to lose, and we could be right there," he said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get there."
Blakely, who finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds, admitted feeling frustrated failing to make the playoffs.
"I'm just disappointed with myself that I didn't make the playoffs," said the energetic import, who won two championships in the past with San Mig Coffee, including the title-clinching grand slam in 2014.
But the 30-year-old native of New Jersey would still want to come back and play in the league despite the disappointment.
Whether it's still with the Katropa, Blakely is leaving it all up to the team.
"That's not my choice, but hopefully I'll be back," he said. "Which team, I don't know where. But I always love to come back and play in the PBA." (RG)