JAMES Yap fell short of not only propelling Rain or Shine to victory, but also reaching a long-anticipated personal milestone that would’ve put an epic finish to the PBA Governors’ Cup matchup against NLEX on Wednesday night.
Already with 9,997 points under his belt, the Elasto Painters gunner went for a triple from the top of the key that missed in the waning seconds of the first overtime – denying him of finally breaching the 10,000-point barrier – and a game-winner as the match went to a second extra session where the Road Warriors held on to a 122-144 win.
Yap, who finished with 14 points, four boards, three assists, and one steal in 30 minutes off the bench, insisted he wasn’t aware that he was on the verge of becoming the 14th player to reach five-digit scoring figures.
“Three points away na lang ako?” a surprised Yap asked reporters after the game. “Yun pala... Yun dapat yung last shot! Pucha, sayang!”
“Buti sana kung pumasok, nagulat sana ako, panalo tapos nakuha ko pa. Ganun talaga,” he added. “Hindi ko talaga iniisip, basta ako laro lang.”
At least the two-time MVP has all the time in the world to join the elite 10,000-point club on Saturday club when the E-Painters return to action against Meralco in Antipolo.
“Sa Ynares na lang – pero hindi ko dapat isipin yun,” Yap stressed. “Three points na lang tapos mamaya hindi pa tayo maka-shoot di ba? Yan yung mahirap, pag palapit nang palapit, minsan masama e. Magkakagigil pa. Na-experience na natin yan eh.”
More than the scoring milestone, Yap is eager to make up for his lapses as the E-Painters continue to adapt to the dribble-drive system.
“May bagong sistema, lahat nag-aadjust,” Yap said. “Ganun pa rin, defense namin madaming lapses mas lalo na nung crucial part. Kailangan namin ma-correct yun.”