James Yap played a like a man possessed in Game Two, producing a virtuoso performance that left Rain or Shine biting the dust while dealing the franchise’s worst loss under the Yeng Guiao era, 102-86.
The 6’2″ was hardly the player I saw on Thursday morning, whose right leg was propped up on top of a mono-block, opting to skip the team’s practice in order to stay fresh for Game Two.
And that rest proved helpful for the former UE Red Warrior star as he led San Mig Coffee’s charged-up second half attack that tore Rain or Shine’s defense to shred on the way to forging series deadlock at one apiece.
“Simple basketball lang,” said Yap. “Pa-jump-shot jump-shot lang. Kung may chance magda-drive, drive. Kundi ipasa. Dapat ganoon lang ka-simple ang basketball.”
The two-time PBA Most Valuable Player’s huge performance included a 16-point third quarter output as the Mixers broke the game wide en route to the lopsided victory.
Yap finished the game with 34 points, the most points he scored since unloading 36 in a 91-81 win over Talk ‘N Text in Game One of the 2010-2011 Philippine Cup semifinals.
He went seven-of-12 from beyond the arc, a career-best attempt in his eight-year PBA career, while adding 10 rebounds in an awe-inspiring effort.
It was a fitting semifinal performance for Yap, who failed to finish Game One after hurting his right knee late in the final period following a loose ball scuffle with Gabe Norwood. He left the game with just 11 points on just three-of-11 shooting.
Game Three will surely be another slam bang affair as Rain or Shine looks to bounce back strong, while San Mig hopes to sustain its newfound momentum in the series, again behind Yap.
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