YOUSEF Taha insisted he doesn’t have to fill the void left by Mo Tautuaa, saying he's focusing on his strengths to help TNT KaTropa get over the hump in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after failing short in the last edition.
Tautaa was tagged as the future of the franchise after being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 PBA draft, but his slow progress left him dispensable as he was packaged in a deal for Terrence Romeo two weeks ago.
Taha is expected to fill the gap left by Tautuaa, but the 6-foot-7 joyrneyman stressed he just has to stick to his role of providing rebounding and quality minutes for the Texters.
“No, I don’t (have to fill Tautuaa’s role),” Taha, the 11th overall pick in the 2012 rookie draft, told SPIN.ph. “I need to do what I do, bring what I bring to the game.”
“We’re not the same players, so I’m just going to do my best to help the team win,” he added.
In his return to the Philippine after a yearlong sabbatical to take care of family issues in Kuwait, the Filipino-Palestinian big man has proven he’s still a serviceable slotman, averaging 3.8 points on 48.6-percent shooting and 3.8 boards, in 12.9 minutes in 11 games with GlobalPort in the Philippine Cup.
Taha, traded for the seventh time in five years, doesn’t mind making this new stop in a journeyman career even after just getting his feet wet with the Batang Pier.
“It’s cool. It’s a different environment, different teammates, different coaches,” Taha said of his stint with the Texters. “Everything’s new to me. I enjoy and I like it. So far, so good.”
At least he’s with a team that’s poised to contend for a championship.
And he will definitely have to step up at the start of the conference with Kelly Williams expected to be out for a month due to an undisclosed ailment.
“I think for all of us, every time we step on the court, our goal in mind is championship,” said Taha, who won a title with San Mig Coffee in the 2014 Governors’ Cup that completed their grand slam conquest. “That’s what it is for me, at least.”