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    Reduced into a spectator, James Yap gutted not to be playing in 'big game' moment

    Apr 18, 2016
    James Yap has become Star's bigges booster from the bench. Jerome Ascano

    THESE are the kind of games James Yap thrives on. Unfortunately, all he could do is sit on the bench and cheer the Star Hotshots.

    Helpless as he may be, the injured star guard provided morale support to his teammates in a stunning 108-99 win over top seed San Miguel in their PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinal playoff on Monday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

    Yap hollered and cheered with every Star basket and possession, especially in the stretch run when the Hotshots finally pulled away from their mighty foe and set a do-or-die encounter for one of the three remaining semis berths.

    Thw knockout game is set on Wednesday at 7 p.m., also at the Big Dome.

    "Ito yung mga gusto nating moment e," admitted 'Big Game James' afterwards. " Nakakalungkot dahil nakikita mo yung mga kasamahan mo nagpapakamatay sa court."

    [See Top seed San Miguel left Star-struck]

    The two-time league MVP is out with a calf injury he suffered late in the eliminations.

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    He is again expected to sit on the bench as the eight-seeded Hotshots try to become the first team to oust a No.1 seeded team since Powerade pulled off the feat against B-Meg in the 2012 Philippine Cup.

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    "Siguro more on advice pa rin (from the bench) kung ano yung mga kulang," he said of the role he'll play in the knockout encounter.

    He's still two weeks away from recovering from his injury, raising hope tha he can return if and when the Hotshota make it to the semis.

    "Sana, sana," said Yap.

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    James Yap has become Star's bigges booster from the bench. Jerome Ascano
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