PAOLO Taha insisted he wasn’t trying to make a statement against Mahindra with a solid showing for Ginebra in its 89-70 win over the Floodbuster in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night.
The third-year wingman played against his former team for the first time and made the most of his 11 minutes by putting up eight points and two rebounds without committing a turnover.
“Hindi naman (statement),” Taha said after the game. “I don’t have anything (against) my former team. Thankful naman ako na naglaro ako for them for one conference.”
“Ako naman, pag nabigyan ng time ni coach Tim, talagang aggressive lang ako,” he added. “Sinusulit ko lang talaga yung minutes na binibigay sa akin, makatulong in any way possible.”
Taha was certainly aggressive against the team that traded him in the offseason as he, despite his limited minutes, managed to take 10 attempts, the second most in team, next to the 12 of Japeth Aguilar, who played 32 minutes.
Asked if feels Mahindra regrets trading him for two third-stringers in Frank Bonifacio and Denice Villamor, Taha said he respects his former team’s decision, and just wished them to end their losing streak.
“Wala naman akong ano sa decision nila (sa pag-trade sa akin),” Taha said. “Syempre struggling sila kasi new team, adjustment period, so hopefully makapanalo rin sila as soon as possible.”
Still, the former College of St. Benilde stalwart had “mixed emotions” playing against his former team.
“Parang weird na yung mga kakampi ko last conference, kalaban ko na ngayon, tapos naglalaro na ako sa Ginebra, parang hindi pa ako (nakakarating) sa stage na yun. Parang andun pa rin ako sa Mahindra mode, pero in time, makakapag-adjust din ako,” Taha said.