San Mig's James Yap attempts a shot against Meralco's Rabeh Al-Hussaini. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone was pleased on how James Yap was able to bail out the Mixers from a Game 5 loss last Saturday.
The two-time Most Valuable Player served as San Mig Coffee’s go-to guy when he connected the game winner against Barangay Ginebra with only 13.4 seconds left in the game.
That shot gave the Mixers a 79-76 breather, just enough to hold off the Gin Kings.
Cone said Yap was just like Alvin Patrimonio, who was the team’s go-to guy back when the team was still known as Purefoods in the PBA.
“In the old days, this team would go to Alvin at the post. Nowadays, we go to James,” Cone said in the PBA website.
The victory gave the Mixers a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven semis series, pushing the Gin Kings near the brink of elimination.
Yap showed no hint of hesitation of rifling the shot despite playing with an injured elbow.
“Si Mark [Barroca] ang first option. Eh na-drive ni Mark, tapos nag-collapse ang defense at na-libre ako. Wala ka namang choice kundi itira dahil libre eh,” Yap said in Spin.ph.
San Mig Coffee hopes to close the deal when it plays against Ginebra on Game 6. Whoever wins the series will face early finalist Rain or Shine.