MANILA, Philippines -- Just a couple of months after helping Davao Occidental win the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Cup, Mark Yee plunges back into action.
The veteran, who was named Finals MVP of Davao Occidental's run to the championship, was signed by the Manila Chooks TM for the 2021 FIBA 3x3 Pro Circuit.
For Yee, it's an unexpected but much welcome opportunity to represent the country this late into his basketball career.
"Sobrang blessed. Hindi naman natin maitatago na may edad na tayo para maimbitahan tayo sa ganito kalaking team. Malaking pasasalamat talaga sa Chooks-to-Go at kay Boss Ronald (Mascariñas)," said the 39-year-old native of Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
"Talagang, kumbaga, lagi ko lang iniisip na sobrang blessed talaga. Sa pagkakataon na ito, hindi ko naisip na mare-represent ko pa 'yung bansa natin sa FIBA sa tanda ko na ito," Yee added.
Yee is no stranger to 3x3 basketball, having played for Fyr Fyter Bacolod in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Magiting Cup back in September 2019. Together with Adrian Celada, Mark Dela Cruz, and Louie Medalla, Bacolod took down the top 3x3 teams in the country en route to winning the leg.
Yee played just one game in the 3x3 circuit, however, as he returned to Davao Occidental-Cocolife in the MPBL afterward.
"Magandang experience 'yun. First time ko maglaro ng 3x3. 'Yung goal lang namin nun is ma-represent 'yung Bacolod. Pero naging champion pa kami," he recalled. "Hindi ko makakalimutan 'yun."
Yee will join fellow veteran Chico Lanete in Manila Chooks TM. Young guns Mac Tallo, Dennis Santos, and Zach Huang complete the pool that will compete in the 2021 FIBA 3x3 Lipik Challenger from May 21-22.
The 6-foot-3 banger knows that they will enter the competition as underdogs. But he vowed that despite lacking size, they will not back down against the world's top 3x3 teams in Croatia.
"Magiging tiyuhin na nila ako dito," he quipped about his role in the team.
"Kahit maliit kami, papakita namin na hindi kami susuko. Dadaanin namin sa sipag at tiyaga ang bawat laro."
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