SAN Mig Coffee superstar James Yap can overcome a nagging flu and regain his form in time for the PBA Commissioner's Cup playoffs if he puts his heart and mind to it, said Alvin Patrimonio.
The San Mig manager, of course, sure knows what he’s talking about, having played through the pain countless times in a legendary 16-year PBA career that saw him win four league MVP trophies and five championships - all with the former Purefoods franchise.
“Many times sa career ko, nagkaroon din ako ng mga sakit before the game. Pero it’s a battle in the mind," Patrimonio told Spin.ph. "Ang naging motivation ko lang talaga sa sarili ko is, ang game na lalaruin ko, para sa team, sa management at sa fans kaya nilalaro ko talaga kahit may sakit ako.”
Patrimonio, a 10-time PBA Mythical Five member, said every player goes through a period when he has to fight through adversity.
“Importante talaga is yung thinking na gusto mong makatulong sa team. Iyan yung isang bagay na mase-share ko kay James, lalo na at magpe-playoffs na," added the PBA Hall of Famer.
Yap, who has been battling flu-like symptoms for more than a week now, went scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting in San Mig's 80-66 win over Air21 on Wednesday. He has been ice-cold in his past four games, averaging just 7.5 points on a 19 percent shooting from the field (12-of-63).
Yap has missed most of the team's practice this week because of his illness, but he vowed not to miss any more practice sessions as he bids to regain his conditioning in time for the start of the playoffs.
“Di pa talaga ako magaling, pero mag-e-ensayo ako bukas. Laban lang,” said Yap.
San Mig plays out its last game for the elimination on Saturday against the Meralco Bolts in a key match up that would determine their placing going into the quarterfinals.