JAMES Yap played down talk of “statement games” after his scoring outburst in Star’s road win over Kia, stressing online discussions are never a source of motivation.
The two-time MVP came up with a vintage offensive display in Star's win over the Carnival in Angeles City on Saturday , but stressed the 23-point performance was simply fueled by the will to win and not the desire to silence critics.
The 6-foot-2 Yap fired 16 points in the first half, before adding back-to-back three-pointers in the endgame to douse cold water on the Carnival’s fightback and put an end to the Hotshots’ four-game losing streak.
“Baka di na lang sanay,” Yap confided to Spin.ph on Monday, amid comments from basketball fans online that he’s no longer the “Big Game James” he used to be.
“Kung ako lang, maglalaro lang ako. Ibibigay ko lang yung best ko,” he said.
Asked if he’s been reading comments from his Twitter timeline, Yap said: “Hindi. Naririnig ko lang (from friends). Eh di natin maiiwasan iyan so di ko na lang papansinin yung mga sinasabi nila.”
Yap even poked fun at his own shooting slump, saying if given an opportunity, he’d like to go hard for a dunk just to put on a show for the fans and hopefully, serve as a confidence-booster for his teammates.
“Magda-dunk ako sa game para matuwa mga fans,” said the 33-year-old forward laughing, while nothing that he has been doing plyometrics and recently, worked out at the USPC (Unlimited Sports Performance Center) owned by Belgian trainer Nico D’Haenen.
Yap’s been off to a rough start this conference after averaging just 9.3 points on 35 percent shooting from the field during the team’s 1-4 (win-loss) start.
But being one of coach Tim Cone’s veterans, Yap refuses to take things as it is.
“Siyempre, kung ikaw yung isa sa mga inaasahan sa team, tapos 1-4 pa kami, may ginawa rin lang akong mga sariling adjustment sa laro,” he said.
At 2-4, Star is tied at eighth to ninth spots with sister team Barangay Ginebra, which on Sunday suffered a 100-85 beating at the hands of the surging San Miguel Beer side.
The Hotshots have six more days to prepare, before facing the Gin Kings in an expected sellout crowd on Sunday.