Not Big Game James for nothing: Yap’s resurgence in full display in Rain or Shine’s hot start
MANILA, Philippines—James Yap is called Big Game James for reasons.
The charismatic shooting guard is a two-time league MVP, four-time Finals MVP, and seven-time champion and these are thanks to no small part to his gutsy self in late-game situations.
At 36, Yap once again displayed that he’s still one of the best shooting guards in the league, drilling a clutch triple in Rain or Shine’s 107-100 win against NorthPort in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Down 100-99 in the final minutes of the fourth, Yap came off a curl in the right win and calmly drained a three-pointer in the face of Batang Pier guard Paolo Taha that gave the Elasto Painters a 102-100 lead with 2:50 left.
Yap joked that his big shot was simply just another normal basket for him.
“That’s normal for me,” said Yap laughing.
“I just had a chance to have the ball at that stage so I just shot it and it went in. That’s the game of basketball.”
Yap finished with 19 points, on 6-of-9 shooting from deep, three rebounds, five assists, and two steals as the Elasto Painters improved to a second-best 5-1 record behind undefeated Phoenix, which holds a 5-0 card.
The 15-time All-Star is also Rain or Shine’s leading scorer averaging 16.3 points a game but he said that it’s not just him who’s solely responsible for his offensive ourburst.
“All I can say is I fit right in with the system, my game really just fell into our system,” said Yap. “Of course I have huge thanks to coach Caloy [Garcia] because of the trust he’s given me. Even before the start of the conference he’s told me that I should be ready and it’s a good thing I was able to produce.”
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