JAMES Yap will have to rely on something other than luck when San Mig Super Coffee tries to salvage its grand-slam bid in a do-or-die game against Talk ‘N Text in their Governors’ Cup semifinal series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers superstar bared that he won’t be wearing his Nike Kevin Durant VI Home edition shoes which had always brought him luck, never losing an important game wearing the signature sneakers since it was given to him by brand official Jino Ferrer last February.
But Yap said the lucky pair no longer fit him since he had to wear extra tape to protect an injured toe.
“Gusto ko sana siyang isuot, kaso sumasakit ang paa ko. Medyo masikip kasi siya, kaya pag nilagyan ako ng tape, lalong naiipit paa ko,” Yap explained. “Hindi ko kasi pwede ipilit kasi may nararamdaman ako sa paa ko ngayon. Mahirap naman pwersahin baka lalo pa ko ma-injure.”
Instead, Yap, who wears size-15 shoes, said he’ll just turn to his gym red and black Jordan Chris Paul VII shoes.
“Mas maluwag ito eh. Kaya kahit mag-tape ako, hindi masyadong siksik yung paa ko,” the 32-year-old cager said.
“Hindi mo rin kasi pwedeng i-asa ang lahat sa swerte. Kailangan siyempre paghirapan din namin ang laro gaya nung ginagawa namin dati,” the two-time MVP added.
With the best-of-five semifinal series down to sudden death after they squandered a 2-0 lead, Yap said there is no substitute to hardwork.
“Kailangan ibuhos na lahat. Hindi kami pu-puwedeng mag-relax pag Talk 'N Text ang kalaban. Hindi mo pwedeng sabihin na lamang ang San Mig sa experience, kasi experienced din sila,” he said.
“Natuto na kami sa mga mali namin. Hopefully ma-correct namin ito lahat mamaya,” the pride of Escalante City, Negros Occidental added.
Asked how he expects Game Five to go down, Yap promises total warfare.
“Magandang laban 'yan. Makakakita ang mga fans ng magandang laban. Determinado sila, pero gutom pa rin kami,” he said, stressing his team is simply focused on the decider and not on the grand slam.
“Hindi na muna namin iniisip yun (grand slam). Pero syempre, di mo naman maiiwasang hindi maisip. Pero para sa amin, saka na muna. Dagdag pressure lang yun,” said the soft-spoken league star.
“Ang mission namin ngayon ipakita ang lakas ng team at ibalik ang saya ng mga fans. Nakita kasi namin kung paano sila nalungkot last two games,” he said.