ANTIPOLO - The more James Yap thought about reaching the 10,000 mark, the more he struggled to find his touch.
Such was the case for Yap early in their 73-89 loss to Meralco in the PBA Governors' Cup at the Ynares Center here on Saturday.
The Rain or Shine gunner needed just three points to reach a milestone, but managed to let go of the thought only in the second half.
That's when his game came to him.
The former University of the East star nailed a triple from the left pocket against the outstretched arms of Garvo Lanete with 49.3 left in the third period.
By registering 10,002 career points, Yap joined an elite club and broke a 16-year drought of entries since Jerry Codinera did so in 2001 playing for Mobiline Phone Pals.
"Sabi ko na ang hirap eh. Pero ganon talaga. Thankful kay God. Gusto ko magpasalamat sa mga sumusuporta sakin lalo na sa mga fans," said a usually stoic Yap with a smile when asked by scribes after the match.
"Ang daming chances nung first half pero parang ang liit ng ring," he added. "Mga ganitong award kasi hindi mo dapat iniisip kasi lalo mong isipin, lalong humihirap na makuha."
Among his collection of basketball accolades, this was something he never really expected.
"Hindi ko maimagine na makuha ko yun. Kasi sa lahat ng awards ko na nakuha di ko iniisip yon," said Yap, who spent most of his 12-year PBA career playing for the Purefoods franchise.
“Nagpapasalamat ako. At least hindi na tayo malilimutan dito sa PBA.”
While he was happy with the feat, Yap said a victory could have fittingly capped his historic night.
"Yun naman din importante, na manalo sana," said Yap, whose team suffered its second straight loss in three matches.