RAIN or Shine got what it wanted out of James Yap and more in the last seconds of Game Three, two looks at a three-point shot to tie the game and force overtime. Fortunately for Ginebra, those shots didn’t went in.
Yap took two long three-point shots in the final possession of the game, missing both, and Rain or Shine dropped a 75-72 loss to Barangay Ginebra in Game Three of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
A three-point conversion could have sent the game into overtime, giving Rain or Shine a chance to complete its comeback from 25-points down. Instead, the Elastopainters are facing elimination with the Kings taking a 2-1 series lead in the semifinals.
Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia didn’t question Yap’s decision to take two long threes, as the Elastopainters got what they wanted, a chance to tie the game in regulation.
“The play was for James or Reggie (Johnson),” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia. “Reggie was supposed to flare. Pero sabi nga ni James, kapag open, titira siya. Sabi ko, desisyon niya. If he thinks, he can make the shot, he will take it. He tried, we were able to get the rebound, pero ‘yun nga sayang.”
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone said Yap is capable of hitting those kinds of shots, despite how those two attempts were way behind the arc.
“James had two cracks at it. I don’t know if the second one would have counted. It looked like it would have counted. He had two cracks at it.
“He usually makes that shot, I know him,” Cone said of his former player with the Purefoods franchise. “We were very, very fortunate that he missed that shot. Scottie did a good job of pushing him out a little bit farther than where he likes to shoot it but I’ve seen James take and hit shots from that spot at the end of games all the time. He makes more than he misses,” said Cone.
Yap was coming off a Game Two in which he sealed the win by making a three late in the fourth, allowing Rain or Shine to take a 109-100 win.
When asked about the two shots, Yap said he didn’t hear any complaints from the team. In hindsight though, Yap said he should have moved closer in order to get a better shot.
“Wala eh, kumbaga nasa huli ang pagsisi,” Yap said afterwards. “Sana ginitgit ko muna, binaba ko muna. Pero wala eh, instinct na eh. Sayang dahil straight sana kaso short lang. Nangyayari talaga yun. Ganun talaga, move on. Wala akong narinig sa dugout. Ganun talaga.”
Yap though was happy that Rain or Shine got a chance at sending the game into overtime after falling behind big. He hopes the Elastopainters will be able to use that second half performance into Game Four.
“Actually, ang sabi ko, kayang-kaya ‘yun pero ‘yun nga, hind naman araw-araw Pasko. Nangyayari talaga ‘yan. Sinasabi ko, move on na lang, kasi the more na iisipin mo na last shot na ‘to, baka makasira pa next game. Kailangan may natutunan,” Yap said.