SOL Mercado and Jay Washington have been grabbing the headlines while rookies Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia are getting their share of attention for GlobalPort.
But as far as owner Mikee Romero is concerned, an unheralded player has been key for the Batang Pier.
The GlobalPort owner was quick to pay tribute to super-sub Mark Yee, who he said best typified the aggressive and fearless attitude Romero wants the Batang Pier to have and has, consequently, brought "angas" to the second-year team since he was reactivated.
Romero admitted Yee was not a popular choice among the GlobalPort coaches when the owner suggested that he be elevated from the reserve roster.
“Iyung mga coaches ko were not in favor of bringing Mark Yee in (to the active roster), but sabi ko, 'I trust this guy and I know what he can do to the team,'” explained Romero.
“After malagay namin siya, nag-iba na takbo namin eh. Nagkaroon ng angas ang team saka may ikot na ng bola. Na-enforce na ang system sa offense at ang defense suffocating na.”
The 6-2 Yee was pure energy on the floor during the win over Meralco, grabbing six rebounds, adding three points and providing the defensive presence in the perimeter that enabled Globalport to score a huge 93-89 win on Friday.
The former San Sebastian College-Cavite then followed up that performance with five points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals to help Globalport nose out Rain or Shine, 90-88 on Sunday for the franchise's first back-to-back wins in two seasons in the pro league.
Even Mercado was all praises for the "intangibles" Yee brings to the team.
“He (Yee) brings a lot for us. I mean, coming from the reserves, he does a lot that doesn’t show in stats sheets," said the GlobalPort star. "He talks on defense, he rotates, crashes the defensive glass, really a great teammate.”
On the other hand, Yee said he’s just a loyal soldier who is ready to follow orders from the coaches.
“Sabi lang ni coach sa akin, sa depensa lang ang focus ko, at ang opensa eh bonus na lang iyan,” he said.
Yee admitted he was itching to play after seeing the Batang Pier drop to 1-3 (win-loss) following their 93-106 defeat to defending Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters more than a week ago.
That is why getting activated in time for the team’s fifth game came as a pleasant surprise, more so since he had to dislodge newly-acquired forward Leo Najorda from the active roster.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon at sa management sa tiwala na binigay nila sa akin na ma-activate ako,” said Yee, who entered the league via Burger King, after going undrafted in the 2008 draft.
“Sana makapasok kami sa semis, tapos mapunta finals at makuha ang champion.”