JOSEPH Yeo had given coach Koy Banal an assurance from Day One that there will be no issues between them as far as playing minutes is concerned.
Four games into the conference, Yeo is leaving Banal no choice but to play him more.
“Si Joseph, parang matagal na kaming nagkasama. Eh first day niya, kinausap ko siya, in-assure niya ako agad na walang problema sa kanya at maiintinidhan niya daw kung di ko man siya magamit,” Banal told Spin.ph on Monday, recalling his initial conversation with the ‘Ninja’ after he was shipped by Barangay Ginebra Kings to the Energy just days before the start of the PBA Governors Cup.
“In-assure ko naman siya na we will do our best to encourage him na maibalik yung laro niya.”
They Said It!
“Hindi siya nagre-relax sa ensayo. Hindi mo makikita na tatamad-tamad siya because he is very attentive and also a team player." Barako Bull coach Koy Banal
The 31-year-old Yeo repaid Banal’s trust and confidence by dropping 28 points, including 11 in the crucial juncture of the fourth period to seal Barako Bull’s 105-99 victory over Meralco on Sunday.
Yeo made five three-pointers while adding six assists, two rebounds and a steal in 30 minutes of play.
Banal said he’s happy to see Yeo, at 31 one of the most experienced in the squad, work hard in practice and provide leadership to the younger Barako Bull guards like RR Garcia and Carlo Lastimosa.
“Hindi siya nagre-relax sa ensayo. Hindi mo makikita na tatamad-tamad siya because he is very attentive and also a team player,” said Banal.
“Yung leadership, expected naman yan sa kaniya.”
Yeo, now playing in his sixth PBA team in nine seasons, earned the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of May 18-24, becoming the third straight Barako Bull player to win the weekly citation after JC Intal and Dylan Ababou.
Star guard Mark Barroca captured three straight Player of the Week citations last season, on the way to leading the Purefoods franchise to the 2014 Philippine Cup.