JAMES Yap said Purefoods Star had to take the good with the bad from its eight-day respite.
While the long break gave Yap the time to recover from his hamstring injury and Marc Pingris to work himself back into game shape, the rust clearly showed for Purefoods in a 66-89 loss to Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night.
So lackluster were the Hotshots that they started slowly and never really recovered on the way to their third loss in four games in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup.
“Pag ganitong team sa Ginebra na malakas, bawal mag-slow start, matatambakan ka talaga,” Yap said. “Siyempre, medyo di maganda yung matagal na pahinga, pero di excuse 'yun.”
The 6-2 Yap missed two games due to his injury and looked tentative in his return, finishing with just seven points on 2-of-14 shooting from the field.
He also felt that the absence of sophomore forward Ian Sangalang, who is out for this conference due to a partial tear on his ACL and MCL, hastened the team’s downfall against Ginebra.
“Nakikita naman natin kung gaano kalaki si Ian sa team. Kasi, siya yung kung (kapag) pangit ang laro namin, siya nagi-step up, so nasa adjustment at nagre-recover pa kami dahil nawala nga siya,” added the two-time MVP.
The Hotshots are currently near the bottom half of the standings but Yap doesn't see any drastic changes, saying the team only needs to keep trusting the system that has won it the league's last four conferences.
“Kahit ano mangyari, dapat mag-stay kami sa sistema kung san kami nag-grand slam, so yung triangle nga, kailangan ganun ang mangyari,” said the 32-year-old Purefoods star.