NEWLY ACQUIRED Barangay Ginebra guard Joseph Yeo said something good came out of a 16-point rout at the hands of NLEX, which he believes is a timely 'wake-up call' for the PBA's most popular ballclub.
Yeo and Co. won their first two games in the season-opening Philippine Cup by an average margin of 26 points, tearing an undermanned Talk 'N Text team apart, 101-81, before smashing expansion team KIA Motors, 87-55, in a road game in Lucena City.
But the twin victories, Yeo said, may have given the Gin Kings a false sense of superiority.
“Maganda nga natalo kami sa NLEX, kasi sa 2-0 namin, nakalaban namin ang TnT (Talk ‘N Text) kulang kulang sila. Ang KIA naman puro mga bago. At least nagising kami at di naman kami unbeatable,” Yeo said.
The six-foot guard out of La Salle said there’s no doubt that the Kings have one of the strongest rosters in the league. But unless they learn to play together under the less-than-two-conference old triangle offense of Jeffrey Cariaso, any team can beat them at any given day, he added.
“Work in progress pa rin naman kami with the triangle eh. Lahat naman, even yung ibang players ng Ginebra (naga-adjust pa), tapos last conference pa lang dumating si coach Jeff,” he said.
“Sinasabi sa amin ni coach Jeff, na kahit panalo kami sa first two games, malayo pa kami. Di pa kami perfect, marami pa kailangang pag-aralan saka kayang kaya kami talunin ng ibang teams, kaya di dapat kami mag-kumpiyansa,” added the 'Ninja.'
Yeo, who joined Ginebra in a trade during the offseason, admitted he too has to adjust to playing in a crowded guard lineup where he splits time at two guard with Mark Caguioa, Chris Ellis, and Mac Baracael.
In his first three games as a King, Yeo averaged modest numbers of 6.3 points, 4.0 assists and 3.6 assists in 25.3 minutes while Caguioa has seen his numbers go down to a career-low of 8.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 19.3 minutes.
“Sa PBA, you have to move on pag nalipat ka sa ibang team, pero dito sa Ginebra, maganda din naman ang samahan. Okay naman kami dito,” explained Yeo, who is now in his fifth team since being selected third overall by Coca-Cola in the 2006 rookie draft.
The 31-year-old now hopes the lessons learned from the 81-97 loss to NLEX will do Ginebra a world of good ahead of a game on Tuesday against winless Blackwater before the keenly awaited showdown against rival Purefoods Star on Friday.