MANILA, Philippines – James Yap moved closer towards another career milestone on Sunday, scoring 23 points in Rain or Shine's 102-105 loss to TNT KaTropa in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
He played a huge role in the Elasto Painters' rally from a 16-point first-half deficit, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter, including the three-point play that tied the game at 101 with 64 seconds left to play.
Unfortunately for Yap, he was also partly responsible for Rain or Shine's inability to complete their comeback. With the chance to push his team ahead with 51.5 seconds left, the former PBA MVP bricked two free throws. Then, with a chance to tie the game at 103 with just 5.2 seconds to go, Yap managed to make only the second of two charities.
"Akin 'yun," Yap said immediately after the game as he took responsibility for the loss. "Miss talaga. Miss talaga ako. Bawi na lang next game."
[That's on me. I missed it. I'll bounce back in the next game.]
Yap made eight of his 18 attempts, including four of seven three-pointers, but managed only three of seven free throws. Three of those misses came inside the final minute of the game.
"Tinira ko ng maayos, kaso lang miss lang talaga eh. Akuin ko 'yun," he stressed.
[I shot it well, but I just missed. This is on me.]
With their loss to TNT, the Elasto Painters wound up with a 5-6 record in the elimination round, and are at risk of playing a team with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, Yap said they remain positive.
"Sinabi ni Coach Caloy (Garcia) sa amin na maganda ang depensa namin, ang ganda ng opensa, ang ganda ng ikot ng bola, at nag-uusap kami sa loob. Sana, madala namin ang ganitong game this coming quarterfinals," Yap said.
[Coach Caloy told us that our defense and offense was good, as well as our ball movement. We were communicating inside the court. Hopefully, this carries over to the quarterfinals.]
Yap also moved closer to another achievement on Sunday, as he is now just 27 points away from the joining the 10,000-point club in the PBA.
"Laro lang," he said of the upcoming milestone. "Hindi ko iniisip 'yun."
[I'm just playing. I don't think about it.]
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