PBA: Enjoy 'Big Game' James' resurgence while it lasts
Philip Matel on Jul 20, 2018 07:31 AM
James Yap does not care who defends him, as long as he gets his job done in putting the ball through the hoop.
'Big Game James' has not yet reached its last full show.
And with it, whether you like it or not, the encore is not yet over.
Following up on his 27-point output in a do-or-die game against eight-seeded Globalport that helped Rain or Shine salvage their Commissioner's Cup campaign, Yap again exhibited his great play on the big stage, scoring 18 points, including a clutch dagger three from way beyond to put his team up seven with over a minute left.
Explaining the play, the two-time PBA MVP shrugged it off and credited backcourt buddy Chris Tiu for finding the wide-open shooter.
"Walang hesitation. Wala kang choice kung di itira mo yun, buti nakita ako ni Chris Tiu. Thank God, buti pumasok. Pag-release ko ang sarap ng feeling, alam kong papasok. Ramdam e. May ganyan na pag bitaw mo alam mong papasok," Yap said after the game.
Even his former coach, Tim Cone, could not help but marvel at his former guard's throwback performance, even assigning his best defender, the 6'7” Justin Brownlee to guard the 6'3” scorer.
However, Yap does not care who defends him, as long as he gets his job done in putting the ball through the hoop.
"Focus ka lang at gawin mo lang ang ginagawa mo sa mga past games. The more kasi na iisipin mo, di ko na lang iniisip yun. Gawin ko na lang ang gusto kong gawin at buti naman effective naman. Pag naintimidate ka, mappressure ka, masisira ang laro mo."
At 36, he knows Father Time is nearing its call, and Yap says he just relishes at every opportunity being given to him to deliver once more for his team.
"Ako naman kasi laro lang e. Enjoyin ko lang ang moment na to, kasi mahirap talaga makarating dito sa Semis at Ginebra pa kalaban. Ineenjoy ko lang talaga to. I’m sure yung mga teammates ko, ineenjoy lang nila."
"Sa totoo lang di ko naman iniisip yun e. Ineenjoy ko lang yung moment na to na nasa semis kami. DI ko iniisip kung ano ako or sino ako. Basta laro lang ako."
Teammate Beau Belga believes that the spitfire guard still has a lot to give before he finally hangs his sneakers. In Belga's words, after all these years, the fire is still in his belly. Even at shooting drills in practice.
"Maraming pang ilalabas si James, Hindi ako nagugulat. Sobrang nakikita ko sa kaniya, meron pa sa katawan ni James na mailalabas niya."
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