Mark Yee and Billy Robles are two of the holdovers of Davao Occidental Tigers, last season’s southern division champion of the MPBL.
They were two of the chosen few who remained with the squad right after the team underwent massive acquisition in the off season, a move that landed them several marquee players such as Ivan Ludovice, Chester Saldua, Richard Albo and Marco Balagtas, among others.
Slowly but surely, Davao Occidental is beginning to display its potential as a title contender.
Yee and Robles believe it’s still a long way to go despite seeing the Tigers winning four of their first five games.
“Masyado pang malayo,” Yee told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview. “In a scale of 1 to 10, siguro nasa 1 pa lang kami.”
Robles could only agree, seeing the improvement that needs to be done by the whole team. But he likes the progress of the squad.
“Medyo nakukuha na namin yung chemistry namin,” added Robles. “Konting-konting adjustment pa, opensa, depensa, kasi medyo magulo pa.”
Both are confident that the Cocolife-backed Tigers could reach their target as soon as the season ends. The duo can only hope that Davao Occidental won’t fall short like in the season past, where they were two minutes away from winning the national championship.
“Gusto ko yung tsansa namin, pero kailangan naming simulan sa playoffs,” said Yee.
The veteran forward was business as usual on Tuesday night, completing yet another double-double performance as the Tigers devoured on the Rizal Golden Coolers-Xentro Mall, 86-55.
Yee posted impressive numbers of 21 points and 12 rebounds for his 23rd double-double performance. He now has the most number of feats among players in the league.
“Hindi ko naman binibilang yan. Para sa akin kailangan lang manalo tapos every game humihingi lang ako ng tulong and gabay ni God na makuha yung panalo at makakatulong ako sa team,” added Yee.
Hoping and praying is what Robles were also asking and he would continue doing that for the team to achieve their purpose.
“Yung mga na-pick up ni Coach (Don Dulay) na players, OK naman,” added Robles. “Makakatulong sila. Masakit yung nangyari sa amin last season, pero kinalimutan ko na. Focus na lang ako sa mangyayari this season. Hindi ko maipapangako, pero makakabalik kami.”