JAMES Yap hopes to have more touches as Star seeks to equalize the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series against Alaska on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots superstar felt he had little “chance” to score in the second half after going for 10 points in the first two quarters of the team’s 97-91 loss to the Aces in Game One.
“Wala lang chance. Third quarter naka-isang tira lang ako,” he said. “Medyo nagkanya-kanya kami.”
Yap was scoreless in the third quarter, where the Aces started to turn the game around, then added three points in the fourth to finish with 13 markers on 10 attempts, along with three assists and one rebound in 29 minutes.
Asked if his teammates failed to locate him during the crucial stretch, Yap answered in the negative, although he felt he was still in the zone after a hot start.
“May time kasi na feel mo yung game,” he said. “Pero okay lang, kalimutan na lang yung game. Pero bago kalimutan, kailangan alam mo muna yung nangyari.”
And what happened was a poor defensive effort in the pivotal third where they allowed the Aces to score 34 points, compared to their 19 points.
“Kailangan maging consistent kami sa defense,” Yap said. “Ganito naman pag series eh. Kung ano yung binabato mo, at least alam mo yung mga binabato sa’yo.”
Hotshots teammate Marc Pingris hopes his team would build another sizeable lead, this time knowing how to protect it.
“Pag humahabol man sila (Aces), kailangan relax at steady lang,” said Pingris, whose team wasted an 18-piont cushion in the opener.
Aces coach Alex Compton is targeting a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series, but is bracing for a fightback by Star.
“I’m sure Purefoods will come back with some good adjustments and it will be tough,” said the American mentor, who draws strength from a balanced effort led by import Romeo Travis, JVee Casio, and Chris Banchero.