JAMES Yap has rarely been 100 percent healthy the past two seasons and, consequently, has not been able to play at a high level like he used to.
But he has been around long enough to learn to take the bad with the good.
"Basta every game, ibigay mo lang ang best mo," said the San Mig Coffee star. "Kung papangit man ang game ko, babawi na lang next game. Ganyan naman ang basketball, may off night ka naman talagang ilang games."
"Huwag ka lang mawalan ng kumpiyansa. Basta pagdating ng practice talaga, mag-practice ka kung ano ang mali mo sa game," the two-time league MVP added.
At this stage in his career, Yap has come to accept that there will be bad days and good days. And even during games, he knows there will be good stretches and bad stretches.
Friday night's game against GlobalPort was no different.
Struggling with his shot for the most part of the match and wincing in pain whenever his heavily wrapped elbow gets hit, Yap made just five of his first 15 shots and couldn't get any kind of rhythm.
But Yap stayed aggressive and kept looking for his shot, and he was finally rewarded in the endgame when Mark Barroca found himself in a tight spot inside but spotted Yap wide open at the top of the key.
Just like he had done dozens of times in his career, 'Big Shot' James made the three-pointer that gave San Mig the lead for good, 81-80. The Mixers went on to win the game, 83-80.
"Nakita ako ni Mark, so no choice itira mo na. Nagkataon lang na nalibre ako kasi dinrive ni Mark so nag-sag lahat ng tao sa kanya so abang-abang lang. Libre eh so tira mo na," said Yap.
"Naisip ko sana pag nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na malibre ako, sana papasok," he added. "So 'yun talaga ang mindset ko noon so thank God na pumasok."
San Mig coach Tim Cone, who had kept faith in his injured gunner throughout his struggles, was relieved to see Yap deliver when needed most. But at the same time, he didn't sound surprised.
“Well that’s why he’s James Yap, he’s hit big shots over the years,” said the beaming coach.