GAME Four was supposed to be a game to remember for San Mig star 'Big Game' James Yap.
Now he's trying hard to forget it.
The two-time MVP said the sooner the Mixers can put a heartbreaking 81-84 loss to Talk 'N Text behind them, the better as they look ahead to a do-or-die fifth game in their PBA Governors Cup semifinal series.
“Di ko na iisipin 'yun (Game Four loss). Ang mahalaga may chance pa kami (to win the series),” said Yap as San Mig's quest for only the fifth grand slam in league history suddenly hangs in the balance.
The bitter loss put to naught a terrific performance by the 6-foot-2 Yap, who scored a game-high 23 points and made the floating, one-handed jumper off Paul Harris that saved San Mig at the regulation buzzer, 74-all.
The two-time league MVP admitted that Cone took a big gamble when he decided to stick with his veteran players for much of the final stretch - and consequently the stars looked too tired to keep pace in overtime against a Talk 'N Text side that rotated 15 players in Game Four.
In the end, six San Mig players played 35 minutes or more, with import Marqus Blakely seeing action for a total of 49 minutes, Joe Devance 44 and a banged-up Marc Pingris, 42.
“Nung mga last four minutes sa fourth (quarter), sinabi niya (Cone) na ga-gamble na siya sa amin. Nakita ko minutes ko kanina, 38 minutes tapos si PJ (Simon) and Ping din,” he said.
But despite seeing the move backfire, Yap said he has full confidence that Cone will find a way to win Game Five.
“Basta handa lang kami sa diskarte ni coach. Saka ganyan naman ang basketball," he said. "Talk 'N Text yan, di basta basta papatalo,” he added.
Yap, however, said San Mig players can't be too down if they hope to salvage their grand slam aspiration.
“Iyun lang naman eh, di na puwede maging malungkot dahil ganito naman talaga pag series. Basta, kailangan bounce back agad and move on,” said 'Big Game' James.
“Siyempre, masakit, pero sabi ni coach, wala nang time na magsisihan at malungkot. Eh my chance pa naman, bounce back na lang, tingnan natin sa Friday.”