Even though he and his coach has downplayed his poor shooting performance all tournament, fans wondered if James Yap still had it. After all, prior to the start of the Commissioner’s Cup finals, Yap scored more than 20 points just once all conference.
But Big Game James saved his best for last, averaging 19.7 points per game over the best-of-seven series to win finals Most Valuable Player honors. After the game, Yap deflected all the credit to the rest of the Llamados.
“I want to thank all my teammates, most especially Denzel Bowles,” said Yap referring to B-MEG’s Best Import, who registered a monster game of 39 points and 21 rebounds in the deciding seventh game.
Yap was held to just 12 points in the ultimate match, but scored five points in a key 7-0 fourth quarter run that cut Talk ‘N Text’s 69-60 lead to just two points.
It was the second finals MVP award for Yap, who also won the honor in the Purefoods franchise’s last title in the 2009-10 Philippine Cup.
Yap described the title run as the most difficult for him.
“Ito na ang pinaka-importanteng championship na napanalunan ko. Hirap ng pinagdaanan namin. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin ako makahinga sa nangyari,” he said.
He even entertained thoughts that Talk ‘N Text would be successful in defending the title.
“Kung titingnan mo kasi talaga yung takbo ng laro akala mo talaga sa kanila na even up to the time na nag-mintis ako. Pero nakuha ko yung bola and nakita ko may four seconds pa so ipinasa ko kay Denzel. At least, high percentage shot,” he said.
“Bilog talaga ang bola.”
Yap, who has taken on a leadership mantle for the Llamados, said that he has told his teammates to be ready for the season-ending Governors’ Cup, which opens in two weeks on May 20.
“Sabi ko sa mga teammates ko, huwag kami magri-relax after this championship dahil may tendency ang mga champion teams na mag-relax after winning the championship. Gusto namin manalo ulit.”
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