MANILA, Philippines -- Rain or Shine guard James Yap's vintage performance in the second quarter of their PBA Governors' Cup game last Sunday came as no surprise to Meralco head coach Norman Black.
Yap had not played basketball in the PBA since the 2021 Philippine Cup but he still torched the Bolts for 12 points in the second period, making five of his six field goals. He beat the halftime buzzer with a three-pointer to tie the game at 54 entering the break.
"He's been gone for so long, I think they forgot how he could play," Black said of the 40-year-old Yap, who took a sabbatical from basketball to pursue a political career.
"We didn't do a very good job of crowding him and making him put the ball on the floor. He was coming off, taking pretty good-looking jump shots on us and making them. That's the most important thing -- he was making them," he added.
The Bolts did a better job on defense in the second half against the Elasto Painters as a whole. They limited Yap to just two points the rest of the way, and Rain or Shine managed just 33 points in the entire second half.
Meralco pulled away for a 105-87 triumph but Black was still impressed with Yap's contributions for their opponents.
"He's James Yap," the multi-titled coach said. "Enough said. Two-time MVP of the PBA, right?"
Yap, for his part, said he did not expect to have such a productive second quarter but vowed to stay ready when his number is called by Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
"Basta sa akin, once ipasok ako, ready ako," said Yap. "At least happy ako na 'yung pinaghirapan ko, nadala ko sa game na 'to."
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