James Yap’s biggest contribution to San Mig's breakthrough win in the PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday didn't show in the stats sheets. Neither was it seen on television.
Rather, it was the pep talk he gave his teammates in practice the day before the Talk 'N Text match.
The usually reserved San Mig star didn't play particularly well in the 90-82 win over the Texters on Sunday, but he was happy to see teammates heed his call and step up as the Mixers ended a string of three losses.
“Lahat naman kami professional eh. So at 0-3, talagang mapapaisip ka bakit ganoon. Sabi ko lang kailangan natin ng energy sa laro, at yun ang naipakita naman namin kanina sa game,” Yap told Spin.ph.
Yap finished with just six points for the Mixers, but Peter June Simon, Marc Pingris, Joe Devance put in double-digit outputs to fill up the scoring slack for the foul-plagued two-time MVP.
But no one heeded Yap's call more than import Denzel Bowles, who, after a lackluster debut in a lopsided loss to Rain or Shine just two days earlier, erupted for 29 points and 24 boards against the Texters.
“Sabi ko kanina sa kanya, huwag ka masyadong manggigil. Scan mo muna ang laro. Ganun naman kasi talaga, pag maraming nakatingin sa iyo, may tendency manggigil,” said Yap of Bowles.
"At least, sa laro ngayon, nandun ang focus niya."
While the Mixers 1-3 record is still far from the pace-setting Alaska Aces’ 4-0 slate, Yap said the victory against the Tropang Texters on Sunday is a step in the right direction.
“Kailangan talagang manalo eh. At least para kaming nabunutan na ng tinik after ng panalong ito,” he said.