SELDOM does a player earn the ire of the soft-spoken two-time PBA MVP James Yap.
But in this instance, the San Mig Coffee superstar has made no effort to hide how irritated he is with, of all people, an Alaska rookie sensation.
Just moments after Alaska's 86-67 win over San Mig on Monday night, Yap admitted how Calvin Abueva has gotten under his skin two games into their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series.
The 6-foot-2 guard finally blew his top when he picked up his fifth personal foul with 6:36 left in the third period of Game 2 after he got entangled with Abueva, who was trying to post him up.
The hobbled San Mig star claimed the rookie was trying to hit him where it hurts the most.
“Okay lang ang physical, walang problema dun, pero `yung physical niya (Abueva) medyo di na tama. Tinira niya ako, siniko niya likod ko as in sapul ako sa likod,” said a visibly irritated Yap while undergoing laser treatment on his aching back under the supervision of Todd Benfit inside the San Mig dugout at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Pero gusto ko lang sabihin sa kanya na wag siya masyado ano…kasi di tama eh.”
Yap played just 21 minutes, his lowest in the playoffs as coach Tim Cone opted not to send him back in the fourth quarter when the game turned into a blowout.
The former UE King Warrior finished the game with just five points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Already playing with a bad back, Yap said he totally understands that the stakes are higher in the playoffs, but he said playing dirty is something he just can’t tolerate.
“Naiintindihan ko naman kasi semis, gagawin ang lahat para manalo. Pero isipin niya din `yung kapwa players niya. Nakakasakit siya,” Yap said.
“Siguro rookie pa lang siya, di ko alam kung ganun ba talaga siya maglaro, so hindi tama.”
Yap said he appealed to the referees to keep their eyes on Abueva, whom he said flops a lot during the game.
“Sabi ko, tignan mo muna siya kasi siya nauuna bumangga. Tapos pag babanggain mo din, pa-flop siya. Sabi ko (sa referee), tignan mo muna, huwag na kayo magpadala sa flop niya dahil ilang beses na bumabagsak eh,” he added.