Joseph Yeo says move from Ginebra to lowly Barako a 'blessing in disguise'
In just a short period of time with Barako Bull, Joseph Yeo says he has started to enjoy the atmosphere in the team, saying it is better compared to the pressure-laden situation at Ginebra. Edward Solo

JOSEPH Yeo believes his recent trade to Barako Bull is a blessing in disguise.

The 'Ninja' found himself shipped by the popular Barangay Ginebra ballclub two weeks ago to one of the perennial pro league doormats in exchange for combo guard Solomon Mercado.

Yet, Yeo has found himself enjoying success in the PBA Governors Cup with Barako Bull’s strong 3-0 start - something he never experienced in his short tenure with the Gin Kings.

In contrast, Ginebra struggled to a 1-3 record in the season-ending conference owing to injuries to 'Twin Towers' Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar as well as wingman Chris Ellis.

“Always a blessing naman kasi yung opportunity laging blessing naman 'yan, depende na lang (on) how you take it (trade),” the six-foot slasher out of De La Salle told on Friday.

"Although noong una siyempre, iniisip ko negative ('yung trade) kasi 'yung Barako mas lower kaysa sa Ginebra (in terms of popularity and talent), pero look at us now, kami ang No. 1 sa standings kaya iniisip ko it’s a blessing."

In just a short period of time with the Energy, the 31-year-old Yeo said he has also started to enjoy the atmosphere in the team, saying it is better compared to the pressure-laden situation at Ginebra.

“Alam mo dito (Barako Bull), mas maganda pa nga samahan ko dito kaysa Ginebra. Kuwela mga tao dito, saka less pressure. Enjoy lang sila, unlike with other teams na sinasabing elite teams, yung pressure mas mahirap talaga,” Yeo said.

“Eh yung pressure, that’s (having) high expectations sa fans at management (because of) having good players in one team with Ginebra. So siyempre, expectations nila (Ginebra management) is win a championship.

“Dito, kami (at Barako Bull) we take it one game at a time. Manalo kami, masaya. Next game, manalo kami, masaya kami. And sabi nga ni coach, nobody expected us to be here na wala pang talo.”


Yeo said he’s not afraid of the pressure that comes with playing for a marquee team, but admitted playing in a more relaxed atmosphere makes him enjoy every game and every practice more.

“Maganda rin naman 'yung may pressure, pero siyempre, minsan di mo na ma-enjoy yung basketball kapag sobrang pressure,” he said. “So dito, nababalik mo laro mo at enjoy mo ang basketball.”

Yeo said he prefers to blend in at Barako Bull and is happy to see former Ginebra teammate Dylan Ababou and another former King, JC Intal, enjoy a career resurgence with the Energy.

“I’m happy sa performance ni Dylan kasi galing pa iyan sa injury sa Ginebra, tapos, si JC din maganda ang nilalaro," he said. "So I think if we stick sa team na ito, marami kaming pahihirapan na teams, kahit sa playoffs."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava