Rejuvenated Yap, Taggert lift Painters
Rain or Shine is off to a hot start in its PBA Commissioner’s Cup defense, thanks in large part to an import who fits the team’s needs and to a two-time Most Valuable Player out to get a second wind in his career.
Shawn Taggert has come up with dominant numbers and the Elasto Painters have gone 2-0 three days into the young conference after James Yap rediscovered his old fire.
“I prepared hard for this conference,” Yap said on Friday after tossing in 26 points —his highest output in three seasons—in leading the Painters to a 113-105 decision of NLEX.
“I’m really taking care of my body now,” added the 35-year-old, whom the Painters acquired from Star in exchange for franchise player Paul Lee. “I’m not getting any younger.”
After a 99-95 overtime win over Mahindra on Sunday, Yap finished the week with an average of 19 points built around a total of eight triples. He beat out Meralco’s Baser Amer and Chris Newsome for the PBA Press Corps’ Player of the Week award.
Yap has given coach Caloy Garcia a lot of options offensively, and this could help open up the middle for Taggert.