RAIN or Shine star James Yap looked calm and collected before Game Seven against Magnolia on Sunday night and hardly looked upset after a 60-63 loss knocked the Elasto Painters out of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
What's the secret to his Zen-like mindset?
“Relax lang kapag ganitong game kasi the more na i-pressure mo ang sarili mo, the more na masisira [laro mo] at the more na manggigigil ka sa loob,” said the two-time MVP.
James was singing Lead Me Lord before Game Seven, which he said never fails to keep him in the proper frame of mind going to a big game.
“So ‘yun ang ginagawa ko everytime na big game, relax lang,” he added.
Yap, who was second to the last to leave the Hotshots' dugout at the Mall of Asia Arena after the heartbreaking defeat, stressed the Elasto Painters have nothing to be ashamed off after the defeat.
“Basta alam mo sa sarili mo binigay mo ang best mo, enough na ‘yun, walang dapat ikahiya. You learn from this loss so kumbaga [stay] strong,” he said.
“Sobrang proud ako sa mga teammates ko dahil lumaban din sila,” he added. “And then syempre, congratulations sa Magnolia.”
If there’s one thing that Yap wants to take away from this fiercely fought best-of-seven series, it was the lessons that only experience can teach.
“Malaking bagay [pa rin itong experience] kahit papaano umabot kami rito sa semifinals,” he said. “Gusto ko ‘yung mga ganoong labanan na gitgitan para matuto kami.”