RAIN or Shine has ruled out James Yap for the entire PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, including in its quarterfinals series against Barangay Ginebra starting Monday.
Coach Caloy Garcia disclosed the two-time MVP is sitting out the rest of the all-Filipino conference as he continues to recuperate from a nagging pulled calf muscle.
Yap was in street clothes and sat on the bench as he watched the Elasto Painters dropped a 100-92 heartbreaker against the Kings in triple overtime Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Out na siya. Next conference na siya (lalaro),” said the Rain or Shine coach.
“Ayaw na niyang pilitin kasi pag pinilit niya baka hindi siya makalaro next conference,” added Garcia. “Of course, we want his health to be the priority.”
The 36-year-old gunner sat out the team’s last two outings in the eliminations. He last suited up in Rain or Shine’s 99-95 loss to Alaska last week, where he logged in 36 minutes of play and finished with 17 points and six rebounds.
But the Elasto Painters welcome the return of guard Chris Tiu to active roster in Game 1 of their best-of-three series against the Kings.
“Yeah, he will be playing on Monday,” said Garcia.
Tiu missed the team’s last three outings due to a strained hamstring.
Garcia admitted the former Ateneo stalwart would have been a big help against Ginebra had he been around.
“In a situation like that, it would have been nice if Chris was there, at least meron kaming stabilizer,” added the Rain or Shine coach.
“But not to take away (from our players), it was a good learning experience for (Ed) Daquioag, (Rey) Nambatac, and even Maverick (Ahanmisi).”
The series opener will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena.