MORE than finishing in the Top Two, it’s how to stay fit going to the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs that concerns Rain or Shine ace James Yap.
The Elasto Painters rounded out their elimination round campaign Friday night by edging Meralco Bolts, 88-85, at the Astrodome to line themselves up for a possible twice-to-beat advantage going to the quarterfinals.
But as they await for playoffs to begin, Yap said the Elasto Painters need to keep in shape to get ready for the bigger grind ahead.
“Crucial sa amin ito (break), kung paano kami magpapa-kundisyon para hindi kami mangalawang. As a professional player, dapat hindi ka magpabaya sa katawan, dapat magpa-kundisyon ka rin,” said the two-time league MVP.
The playoffs kick off on April 5, a week after the All-Star festivities.
That means Rain or Shine will be on break for a total of three weeks.
“Kaya kailangan alaga sa katawan, pakundisyon dapat,” said Yap. “Every practice dapat talagang focus. Ibang usapan na itom nasa playoffs ka na, wala ka na sa eliminations.”
Rain or Shine ended up with an 8-3 record and ended its two-game skid following the win over Meralco.
Yap had a huge say on it after top scoring for 14 points, including five in the pivotal fourth when the Elasto Painters weathered a strong comeback by the Bolts down the stretch.
“Buti nakuha naming yung game. Muntikan pa,” he said.
Whether they ended up finishing in the Top Two still depends on the final three weeks of the eliminations, starting with Saturday’s road game between defending champion San Miguel and league leader Phoenix in Panabo.
The Fuel Masters (8-2), Beermen (6-3), TnT Katropa (6-3), and Barangay Ginebra (4-3) are all still in contention for that twice-to-beat edge in the playoffs.
Whatever happens, Yap assured the Elasto Painters are battle-ready.
“Basta ready lang kami,” he stressed.