James Yap relieved to see doubts, pressure cast aside after breakthrough Star win
James Yap scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter upon his return to the Star Hotshots' starting lineup. Jerome Ascano

JAMES Yap admitted Star couldn't afford to lose against Blackwater on Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and another defeat would've torn the team apart.

The Hotshots finally showed a sense of urgency as they barged into the win column after three losses in the midseason tournament on Wednesday when they rolled to a 122-103 victory over Blackwater.

“Kung naging zero-four kami, baka galit-galit na kaming lahat, away-away na,” Yap said. “So buti na lang nanalo kami.”

“Pag zero-three kasi dun na lumalabas 'yung mga nagda-doubt ka na kung ano bang kulang,” he added. “Sa individual, kumbaga iisipin mo pag zero-three ka especially medyo pangit laro mo, iisipin mo, 'Kondisyon ba ako o hindi?' Ang dami mong ginagawa, ang dami mong iniisip.”

“Medyo yung kumbaga, masama 'yung loob mo medyo gumaan,” he continued.

[See Stars align at last]

Yap sparked the rout by firing 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter in 25 minutes in his first start this conference.

“Kailangan talaga dahil pag first group kasi ma-dictate mo agad 'yung tempo nung laro,” the former league MVP said. “Kailangan go hard kaagad. 'Yun ang laging ginagawa ko pag first group."

Yap, who averaged 6.3 points on 27.3-percent shooting and 3.3 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench in his first three games, admitted he’s more comfortable as a starter.

“Importante 'yun,” the longtime face of the franchise admitted. “Syempre ilang years din akong nasa starter. Medyo nung binaba ako, medyo nangangapa ako so hindi ko makuha yung timing saka yung buwelo. Buti na lang binalik ako sa first group."

“’Yung second group hindi ko masyado gamay,” he added. “Pero kailangan pag-aralan.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos