Joseph Yeo ends six-month basketball hiatus for shot at redemption in MPBL
Joseph Yeo works to get back in shape for the Manila Stars. Christian Jacinto

JOSEPH Yeo has come out of a self-imposed six-month basketball hiatus when he makes his debut in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) as one of the cornerstones of expansion team Manila Stars.

The 11-year PBA veteran put basketball aside over the past six-months to focus on his personal life and spend more time with his family after a forgettable season with Meralco last year.

“Kinalimutan ko yung basketball nung mga panahong yun. Nagbakasyon ako with my family, marami rin akong inaasikaso," said the former La Salle star. “Matagal na ako nag-stop e. Mga six months rin."

But when his good friend, Manila team owner Roman Ang, came calling, he figured it was the perfect time to come back.

“Unang-una, wala na akong balak maglaro talaga e. Pero napag-usapan namin ng mga friends ko, kaya naglaro na ako. Kasi feeling nila, bata pa daw ako. kaya ko pa naman maglaro,” he said.

Yeo, 34, said he has spent his first month with the Philip Cezar-mentored Manila squad working to get back in game shape.

"Tingnan natin ngayon, siyempre kahit papaano hinahanap ko rin yang basketball, nakasanayan ko na rin, di ba?” said the high-flying guard.

The chance to play longer minutes in the MPBL made the decision to come back easier, Yeo said.

“Ie-enjoy ko yung basketball ulit. Last year ko sa PBA hindi rin ako masyadong nakalaro din. Siyempre frustrated, gusto ko pag magba-basketball ako gusto ko maglaro ako e. Nasa PBA nga ako di rin naman ako papalaruin, medyo boring naman yun, di ba?” Yeo said.

“Magpa-practice ka everyday pero di ka makakalaro. Parang it’s useless. Dito kahit papaano makakalaro ka, pagpapawisan. Doon manonood ka lang. Di ko makita yung point ng basketball kapag ganun.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @CAJacinto11