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    Dilemma for Cone as Yap endures back problem

    Apr 22, 2013
    "If this was a regular elimination game, he wouldn’t be playing," says coach Tim Cone of James Yap. "It just so happened it’s a playoff game so he had to fight through." Jerome Ascano

    NOTHING has been going right for James Yap in this conference. If it wasn't headline-hugging off-court issues, it was a battle with the flu and, now, a nagging back problem.

    The San Mig superstar, though, is fighting on.

    "Ganoon talaga, sana maging okay na," Yap said after once again playing limited minutes while scoring seven points in San Mig's 100-92 win over Meralco on Sunday night. "Pero laban lang ng laban, kaya yan."

    Yap has been struggling in the entire PBA Commissioner's Cup and more so in his past seven games, with San Mig coach Tim Cone admitting the two-time league MVP wouldn't even be on the court if it weren't the playoffs.

    "If this was a regular elimination game, he wouldn’t be playing," said the multi-titled mentor. "It just so happened it’s a playoff game so he had to fight through. He’s doing the best he can in the series."

    His latest injury problem is, actually, an offshoot of his bout with the flu in the previous weeks. In his desire to get back in shape, Yap did extra practice and ended up hurting his back.

    The back injury, in turn, has become a dilemma for Cone.

    "(When) he’s had warm-up, he’s okay to start the game. But when he sits down, his back starts to stiffen up, then loosens up a little bit later, then tightens up again," said the San Mig coach.

    "It’s constant management for him. I’m a little scared to play him in the fourth quarter."

    Continue reading below ↓

    Cone, however, is hoping that the two days between Game Two and the deciding match on Wednesday would give his top gun enough time to get himself in better shape. Yap is also set to undergo an MRI scan on his back on Tuesday.

    "We’re hoping now we have two days for therapy for James," Cone said. "Hope he gets better and healthy."

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    "If this was a regular elimination game, he wouldn’t be playing," says coach Tim Cone of James Yap. "It just so happened it’s a playoff game so he had to fight through." Jerome Ascano
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