Yap says pal Simon still got it after 3-Point Shootout win
CALASIAO, Philippines – James Yap thinks former backcourt partner Peter June Simon still has plenty of gas left in the tank, especially now that his old pal won his first PBA Three-Point Shootout title in the 2019 All-Star Weekened.
Simon has seen limited playing time for Magnolia in the 2019 Philippine Cup, but he showed he remains one of the league's deadliest shooters by dethroning, coincidentally, Yap.
The 38-year-old Simon fired 20 points in the elimination round before beating NorthPort's Robert Bolick and NLEX's Philip Paniamogan in the finals with a score of 17.
"Alam naman natin 'yang si PJ, noong rookie year ko, magkabasay na kami. Marami pang gasolina na natitira diyan sa katawan niya," said Yap of Simon, with whom he won 7 titles under the Purefoods franchise.
(We all know how PJ plays. I started my PBA career with him. He still has plenty of gas left in the tank.)
"Puwedeng puwede pa yan. 'Di pa bugbog 'yan."
(He can still play. He's not yet beaten.)
Yap also believes the Three-Point Shootout triumph will work wonders for Simon, just like it did for him when he captured the title in 2018.
Since last year's All-Star festivities, Yap has gradually improved his averages after every conference and now norms a team-leading 14.7 points for the playoff-bound Rain or Shine.
"Malaking boost sa kaniya and 'yung kumpiyansa babalik. Noong nanalo ako last year, 'yung kumpiyansa ko tumaas eh. Sana ganoon din sa kaniya," Yap said.
(I hope this will give him a big boost and that his confidence will come back. When I won last year, my confidence skyrocketed. I hope that also happens to him.)
Yap and Simon will reunite as they suit up for the South All-Stars against the North All-Stars in the All-Star Game at the Calasiao Sports Complex here on Sunday, March 31. – Rappler.com