Healthy James Yap turns back the clock with champion ROS
James Yap is so healthy he even busted out move no. 183672 from his set of one million as Rain or Shine opened its Commissioner's Cup title defense.
James Yap has been a very good basketball player for a long time, however, he hasn't been THIS good in quite a while.
Playing the first game of the 2017 Commissioner's Cup, not only did Yap submit his best performance as a Rain or Shine Elasto Painter, the two-time league MVP also had his best outing in three seasons.
Yes, three seasons. Even James was surprised.
"Three years na?" Yap said after he scored a game-high 26 points in ROS' 113-105 victory over NLEX Friday.
After sturggling through his first conference with Rain or Shine in the All-Filipino, Yap admitted putting through some extra work in the offseason not only to completely integrate himself in the Elasto Painters' system but also to fully recover from the injury he suffered late last season.
It has worked wonders for James.
"Nagpakundisyon lang. Extra work. Last conference, na-arthroscopic [surgery] yung tuhod ko at pinapalakas ko. Okay naman yung tuhod ko, malakas yung legs ko ngayon," Yap said.
Proving that he was back to peak condition, Yap even pulled out move no. 183672 from his set of one million with 40 seconds to go as he broke the ankles of Bradwyn Guinto before burying a step-back three.
That basket proved to be the dagger in Rain or Shine's opening effort to start its Commissioner's Cup title defense.
"Nagulat din ako. Kasama sa laro yun. Cross over ba yun o baka nadulas lang siya? Nag-step back ako, buti na-shoot at napasaya ko teammates ko," Yap said.
After going off to a fiery start, the challenge now for Yap, and for the entire Rain or Shine team, is consistency.
With a healthier knee and overall confidence, Yap believes he and his team can do it as long as they put in the work.
"Malaya pa. Wag lang mag-relax, kung ano yung ginagawa mo at the start of the conference, tuloy lang. Malayo pa to, maraming pang pagdadaanang giyera," he said.
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