PBA ALL-STAR: Simon after replacing Yap as 3-point king: 'Dikit na talaga pangalan namin'
Paul Lintag on Mar 29, 2019 07:37 PM
James surrendered his 3-point title in the first round but like Yap one year ago, Simon came out of pretty much nowhere to capture the crown. (Simon photo courtesy of PBA)
CALASIAO, Pangasinan — Rivals in the amateurs and Grand Slam champions as teammates in the pros, James Yap and PJ Simon will be forever linked.
And even as the two have gone their separate ways, with Yap starting a new basketball chapter in Rain or Shine, the two super scorers are still entangled in history.
For the 2019 PBA All-Star Games here Friday, Yap entered as the reigning and defending three-point shootout champion.
Unfortunately, James surrendered his title in the first round but like Yap one year ago, Simon came out of pretty much nowhere to capture the crown.
“Ewan ko ba, siguro parang naka-dikit na talaga pangalan namin dalawa,” Simon said of Yap after replacing him as the PBA’s 3-point king.
“I’m very happy para sa kanya kasi sobrang galing niya pa rin. Wala ako masabi, thankful ako sa pinagsamahan namin,” he added.
PJ tied for first in the preliminary round and overcame a slow start in the final to score 17 points, which was just about enough to edge Robert Bolick’s 16 points for the crown.
Still, Simon admits he didn’t have much confidence going in.
His style of shooting is not exactly fir for shootout competitions and his fears were legitimized after he couldn’t complete the set of five racks in practice.
He also struggled in the final round against Bolick and NLEX’s Philip Paniamogan before catching enough fire in the end.
“Talagang di ko talaga inexpect, totoo yun. Nung una nagpa-practice ako, hindi ko natatapos yung rack ng one minute kasi mabagal yung tira ko, so sabi ko enjoy ko na lang yung moment,” he said.
“Inisip ko na lang na take my time, wag ko madaliin yung tira ko kasi wala akong magagawa eh, yun na talaga tira ko. I’ll make sure na lang na papasok,” Simon added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8