Former MVP Yap finds old groove, thanks to faith showed by his coach
The sample size is just four games, but there are a lot of encouraging signs to draw from it, especially if you’re a former MVP many feel is on the down slope of a glorious career.
James Yap has been tearing it up lately for Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“Coach and I talked,” Yap told the press in Filipino. “Actually he asked me to be ready this conference. When he told me that, I started conditioning my body to be ready.”
Painters coach Caloy Garcia revealed that the coaching staff intended to bump up Yap’s usage, even whipping up “a system where Yap and the other players could be comfortable.”
“When we changed [our] system, especially when we were in Bahrain (for tuneup games), one thing we were actually trying to implement is to bring back the game of James,” Garcia said.
After four games, Yap is averaging 17.5 points per outing. He tallied 21 points as Rain or Shine whipped out a 108-98 victory over San Miguel Beer Friday night.
Yap, now 36 and with seven PBA titles under his belt, said he credits this resurgence of sorts to Garcia.
“As a player, when your coach tells you he’s going to cash in on you, that’s a big thing,” he said. “I have the go-signal from coach. I may miss two straight shots but he keeps me in the game and gives me a chance to break out of my slump.”
Rain or Shine’s victory over San Miguel was the team’s third in four outings.
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