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    'Big Game' James Yap eyes grand slam to be crowning glory of his PBA career

    May 16, 2014
    James Yap says a crack at a grand slam only comes once in a player's career, giving him all the more reason to give it his best shot in the coming PBA Governors Cup. Jerome Ascano

    SAN Mig superstar James Yap now has six PBA championships, including three in a row, as well as a Finals MVP trophy to go with his two league MVP awards.

    Now he wants to go after the crowning glory of his career.

    “Oo kumpleto na ako. Meron na ako halos lahat ng hihilingin ko as a player, pero I want a grand slam,” Yap said with a wink, moments after after San Mig's title-clinching Game Four victory over Talk 'N Text in the Commissioner's Cup Finals.

    “Sana makuha namin 'yun, kailangan hindi kami makuntento, kailangan namin ma-achieve yun. Kailangan talaga focused kami, gutom lagi,” he added.

    Only three teams have completed a season treble in the league's 39-year history - the reason Yap said San Mig must grab what he termed as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pull off such a rare feat.

    “May chance talaga, minsan lang darating yan sa buhay ng players. Kung may chance talaga, dapat kunin namin. Di kami pwede mag-relax,” added the 32-year-old pride of Escalante, Negros Occidental.

    “Tingin ko kaya naman namin. Kung itutuon lang namin atensyon namin dun (grand slam) alam ko kaya namin,” he said.

    On the lighter side, Yap showed Spin.ph one of his secrets, which is in the form of his lucky shoes.

    “Itong shoes na ito ang isa sa swerte sa akin. Dalawang sunod na championship na 'yan,” Yap said while showing off his pair of Durant VI ‘Home’ edition shoes given to him by Nike last February 22.

    Continue reading below ↓

    “Luma na yan, pero 'yan pa din gagamitin ko next conference, hopefully swerte pa rin,” said the soft-spoken PBA star.

    James Yap shows off his lucky shoes. Snow Badua

    As it is, Yap admitted the road to the title hat-trick was far from easy for San Mig.

    “Pero sa totoo lang, yung three-peat na ginawa namin ang hirap gawin. So thank you Lord, thank you sa mga teammates ko, thank you,” said Yap, paying tribute to coach Tim Cone who controversially benched Yap and other Mixers star late in a Game Three loss.

    The championship only bolstered his respect for Cone, he added.

    “Lalo na kay coach Tim (Cone), napakagaling na coach. Thank you sa kanya at sa mga kakampi ko kasi kahit nag-struggle ako, andyan sila para sa akin. Yung suporta nila buo sa akin,” he added.

    “I love this team!”

    Asked what he does to repay the team's unbending confidencein him, Yap replied: “Yung game ko kanina."

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    James Yap says a crack at a grand slam only comes once in a player's career, giving him all the more reason to give it his best shot in the coming PBA Governors Cup. Jerome Ascano
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