James Yap says early exit not as an end but a beginning for rejigged Rain or Shine
James Yap says it will take some time before Rain or Shine gets its act together under new coach Caloy Garcia. Jaime Campos

ANTIPOLO - Talking to the media on Sunday moments after Rain or Shine’s loss to San Miguel, James Yap bumped into Ronald Tubid and asked his former University of the East teammate for a share of his won-game bonus.

Tough as the early PBA Phillippine Cup exit may be, Yap was not in such a bad mood as he stuck to the positives at the end of his first conference in an Elasto Painters uniform.

“Nitong past three games, maganda ang nilalaro namin, so sana madala namin next conference,” the former Purefoods franchise player said. “Actually, maganda naman ang laro namin, kinulang lang.”

The E-Painters squandered four chances to clinch an outright quarterfinal berth, hurdled Blackwater in a playoff to finally advance to the postseason, then saw all their early gains come to waste with one loss to the twice-to-beat Beermen in the quarterfinals.

But it’s in these situations where they can learn from and improve as they continue their coaching transition from Yeng Guiao to Caloy Garcia.

“Dito naman kasi magiging matatag ang isa't isa, pag merong mga ganitong sitwasyon na na-out ka sa conference,” Yap said. “Dito magbi-build yung tiwala sa isa't isa.”

“Ito yung start,” he added. “Ganun naman talaga ang basketball, minsan di mo time, pero, ayun.”

[See RR Garcia catches fire as San Miguel shows RoS the door]

Yap, who contributed nine points on 3-of-10 shooting, seven boards, one assist, and one steal in 23 minutes off the bench, said SMB’s depth - which saw RR Garci take over and take some load off June Mar Fajardo - was simply tough to overcome.

“Pumapasok ang mga tira ni RR, so doon sila talaga kumbaga... Ang hirap bantayan dahil may June Mar pa sila,” Yap said. “Pag nagmi-miss sila, may June Mar na taga-rebound, kaya mahirap talaga talunin ang San Miguel.”

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“Pero beatable naman sila, he was quick to add. “Kaso yun lang, ang shooting din namin, hindi maganda kaya hindi kami nakabalik. I-work out namin ang shooting namin, defense namin, kaya crucial ang mga practices namin coming into the next conference.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos