MANILA, Philippines – It’s all about the law of averages for James Yap.
Yap rued missing a potential game-tying trey in Rain or Shine’s 72-75 Game 3 loss that gave Barangay Ginebra a 2-1 lead in their best-of-5 semis, but the veteran guard knew he needs to brush it aside and just bounce back.
“Hindi naman lagi araw-araw Pasko. Nangyayari talaga ‘yun. So ‘yun, sinasabi move on lang,” Yap, who finished with 9 points on a 1-of-5 clip from deep, told reporters after the game.
(It is not always your day. That happens. So I will just move on.)
The Elasto Painters trailed by as much as 25 points but stormed their way back into the game by cutting their deficit to just 3 points in the final 10 seconds, 72-75, and needed a triple to send the game to overtime.
Yap was one of the options for the potential game-tying triple. After all, he has been known as a clutch performer, and just recently, he hit the dagger 3-pointer that paved way for Rain or Shine to equalize the series in its 109-100 Game 2 triumph.
With 6.8 seconds left, the two-time league Most Valuable Player had enough time to get a decent look but he could not weave the same magic as he airballed the trey no thanks to Scottie Thompson’s formidable defense on him.
Rain or Shine import Reggie Johnson hauled in the offensive board for another try only to witness the clock expire as Yap’s second 3-point attempt fell centimeters short from swishing the net.
“Nasa huli ang pagsisisi. Dapat ginitigit ko muna. Binaba ko muna. Pero instinct na eh. Sayang. Straight na sana eh, short lang. Nangyayari talaga ‘yun. Ganoon talaga. Move on.”
(Regret always comes in the end. I should have tried to dribble past him. But that was my instinct. It was a straight shot but it fell short. That happens. Move on.)
“Pero, doon ko lang na-realize sa dugout na dapat ano, kasi si Scottie lang eh. Ganoon talaga. Hindi mo naman maiisip noon doon eh. ‘Yung instinct na lang ‘yun doon sa loob. Kung ano una mong iniisip, ‘yun na ‘yon.”
(It was only in the dugout that I realized what I should have done because Scottie is smaller. You cannot think about that in the game because I had a different instinct. Whatever comes to your mind first, then that is what you will do.)
As the Elasto Painters try to avoid elimination and force a rubber match in Game 4, Yap knows it won’t be good for him to dwell on the past.
“The more na iisipin mo, ‘yung last shot ko, baka makasira pa next game. Kailangan may natutunan ka sa sitwasyon na ‘yun.”
(The more I think about the last shot, the more that I will probably have a bad game next game. I just need to learn from that situation.)
Game 4 is on Monday, July 23, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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