JAMES Yap was quick to repay Rain or Shine after signing a fresh three-year contract extension, scoring 20 points in a 96-87 win over NLEX in the two teams' season debut at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
Yap, 36, scored 11 points in the first half when Rain or Shine created separation from NLEX and rookie Javee Mocon added 13 points as the Elasto Painters ran away with the win despite playing without injured Raymond Almazan.
“It’s a good start for us this conference,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia. We had a bad start but we had good ball movement, James stepped up big time.”
Jewel Ponferada added 12 points while Maverick Ahanmisi and Norbert Torres each had 11 points. Beau Belga had nine points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in a brilliant all-around game for the Elastopainters.
Rain or Shine's win spoiled the return of Kevin Alas and the NLEX debut of Poy Erram.
After recovering from an ACL injury that forced him to sit out most of last season, Alas finished with 12 points in his first game back. Erram added 10 points for the Road Warriors.
Rain or Shine 96 – Yap 20, Mocon 13, Ponferada 12, Ahanmisi 11, Torres 11, Belga 9, Rosales 7, Daquioag 5, Norwood 4, Nambatac 4, Maiquez 0, Borboran 0, Alejandro 0.
NLEX 87 – Quinahan 19, Magat 13, Alas 12, Erram 10, Porter 10, Paniamogan 8, Ighalo 6, Fonacier 4, Soyud 3, Tallo 2, Tiongson 0, Baguio 0, Galanza 0
Quarters: 17-21; 40-31; 72-57; 96-87.