Mark Yee wanted to change the script of his basketball career when he joined Davao Occidental-Tigers in 2018.
Known as a physical bruiser when he was still playing in the PBA, he wanted to show his real basketball skills in Chooks-to-Go MPBL.
The 39-year-old native of Sagay, Negros Occidental revealed on Tiebreaker Vodcast’s Crossover Inside the Chooks-to-Go MPBL bubble, Tuesday, how he decided to transfer to the country’s fastest-growing regional basketball league.
“Nung nasa PBA ako sa last team ko sa KIA, pinagdasal naming mag-asawa na kailangan siguro lumipat sa MPBL para maipakita naman sa mga tao na… Hindi lang puro pananakit ang ginagawa ko. Kasi iba ‘yung (naipakita) doon sa PBA e,” shared Yee.
“Sa PBA kasi kapag pumasok ako doon, pati ‘yung table committee nanonood na kung anong gagawing pananakit na naman e.”
But with him not getting any younger and his children growing up, Yee decided to just ball in Davao.
And that he did.
“Kumbaga dito sa MPBL, pinagdasal naming mag-asawa na lumalaki na rin ‘yung mga anak ko, kailangan ipakita ko sa kanila na marunong pala ako maglaro ng basketball. ‘Yung malinis na basketball.”
The 6-foot-3 power forward had a Lakan season to remember. He earned the Defensive Player of the Year, and was part of the All-MPBL First Team for the second straight year.
More importantly, he drained the biggest shot of his career in Game Four against San Juan to lift the Tigers to an 89-88 win, and bag the 2019-2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan championship.
To cap it off, he also nabbed the Finals MVP award with averages of 13.5 points, 10.25 rebounds, 2.75 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks in the four-game series.
In their National Finals match-up against San Juan, physicality really played a big role in the series.
Showing his maturity, Yee gathered his squad and reminded them of how they should take the physicality.
“‘Yun nga, sinasabi ko sa lahat na kailangan mag-focus lang kami. Kung halimbawa tinamaan, tanggapin na lang, ‘wag na bumawi,” said the ex-pro.
“Kapag may mawala pa sa amin, iilan na nga lang kami. Kaya nga ‘yung sabi ni Jerwin, siyempre may edad na tapos papalag pa doon, mawawala na ‘yung mga beterano doon sa loob. Kaya sabi ko labanan na lang natin, huwag na tayo bumawi. Saluhin na lang natin.”
Fair enough, Yee has reinvented his game in the MPBL, quickly becoming one of the best players in the league.