WHETHER he plays long minutes or not, James Yap said he has learned to be ready whenever his number is called in the most crucial stretch of the game.
Game One was no different.
Despite playing just a total of 24 minutes, Yap came through with the biggest baskets in the clutch, draining the go-ahead three-point basket before adding a tough shot off a hand-off from Marc Pingris to complete the Mixers’ climb from a 17-point hole.
The 6-foot-2 former University of the East star finished with 14 points, firing 10 in the final quarter as San Mig came away with a 104-101 victory against Rain or Shine to take a 1-0 lead in their PBA Governors Cup Finals on Tuesday.
“Basta tira lang. Eh nagkaroon ng chance, saka kahit paano na-libre naman ako. Eh wala naman akong magawa kung libre ka eh,” Yap said after the game.
Yap said he doesn’t mind playing reduced minutes in the championship series, adding that he completely trusts San Mig coach Tim Cone’s decision.
“Sinasabi ko lagi, diskarte ni coach yun (lessen his minutes). Kung ano man gagawin niya para sa akin, ready lang ako kahit ilang minutes,” said the two-time league MVP.
“Kailangan magpapainit ka lang sa bench. Mag-exercise ka lang sa bench at mag-warm up para ready ka lang anytime,” he added.
Yap said despite drawing first blood in the series, the Mixers are expecting a strong bounce-back game from the Elasto Painters, which is why they need to come out with a better frame of mind come Game Two.
“Focus pa rin kami sa Game Two. Alam naman natin ang Rain or Shine di magpapatalo iyan so i-expect pa namin na more physical at aggressive sila,” he said.