San Mig Coffee's James Yap (L) attempts a shot over Ginebra's Chris Ellis (R). Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – San Mig Coffee star guard James Yap expressed his gratitude to Kris Aquino after his ex-wife defended him from game-fixing allegations following the Mixers’ Game 6 loss in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Yap missed a potential game-tying triple against Ginebra last Monday, and Aquino on Tuesday said Yap will never be involved in game-fixing.
"Ito diretsong sagot. Sa matagal na panahon na nakilala ko si James Yap at nakilala ko ang pagkatao niya, hindi niya gagawin na magbenta ng laro dahil buong buhay niya ay binuhos niya for that. He's gonna love me for this. Matutuwa siya dito sa sinasabi kong ito," Aquino said in her show, “Aquino & Abunda Tonight.”
Yap completely redeemed himself in Game 7, pouring in 30 points as San Mig routed Ginebra, 110-87, to advance to the Finals against Rain or Shine.
After the game, he told Spin.ph that he was grateful to Aquino for coming to his defense, even if his ex-wife’s actions did come as a surprise.
“Thank you at ipinagtanggol niya ako. Nagulat ako. Anong meron?” he said.
Yap also told the sports website that he has gotten used to hearing criticism for his performances.
“Sanayan lang kasi kapag ikaw ‘yung isang player na inaasahan sa team, ‘di naman natin mapi-please ang lahat ng tao. Natural ‘yan eh. Basta focus ka lang at huwag mo pansinin ‘yung mga nagba-bash. Ganoon lang, move on then practice na lang,” Yap said.
No more anger
Aquino, in the same show, also pointed out that the Mixers won Game 5 of the hotly contested series thanks to a game-winner from Yap.
"Game 5 they won because of James Yap. Three-pointer, di ba? Siya 'yung hero so bakit ganoon?" she said.
"As somebody who used to read the contract of James Yap, pumasok sila sa finals kahit anong benta ang sinasabi nila matutumbasan 'yon ng kikitain niya by making it to the finals. Ganoon kalaki ang kontrata niya. So there's no reason for him to sell the game. And at the end of the day you are as good as your last game," Aquino said.
When teased by co-anchor Boy Abunda for defending her ex-husband, Aquino said she has “released all the anger from her heart.”
Yap and Aquino married in 2005, and had a son, Bimby, in 2007. They separated in 2010.