Yap Fully Motivated Against TNT
By WAYLON GALVEZ
MANILA, Philippines — B-Meg superstar James Yap, a former two-time PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), said yesterday he doesn’t hold any grudge against Talk ’N Text Chot Reyes, but remains fully motivated when they cross paths starting Monday.
Yap was left out from the final roster of the Reyes-mentored Philippine team that took part in the the FIBA-Asia Championship in 2007 in Tokushima, Japan – the qualifying event then for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Instead of getting Yap, Reyes took Ren-ren Ritualo.
“It’s been five years. It’s not an issue anymore,” said Yap in a phone interview with the Bulletin Friday night. “Besides, coach Chot and I are in good terms. We’re professionals. I respect and accept his decision on that matter.”
Yap’s B-Meg and Reyes’ TNT will collide in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven finals series starting today at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Yap did wear the national colors two years later when coach Yeng Guiao included him to the all-PBA Powerade Team during the 2009 FIBA-Asia Championship in Tianjin, China, the qualifier then for the 2010 World Championship in Turkey.
Recently, Reyes named Yap to the 16-man pool from where the roster for the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas 2.0 will be named for the FIBA-Asia Championship next year – the qualifier for the World Championship in Spain in 2014.
Yap, however, begged off because of his previous commitments.
The 6-foot-2 Yap said what drives him now is winning a third PBA title and help the franchise capture a ninth championship, an experience the team last had back in 2010 when Purefoods TJ swept Alaska Milk for the Philippine Cup.
“Winning the title is what motivates me the most. We work hard to get to the finals, and we’ll do everything we can to win the championship,” said Yap, who is adjusting well to new coach Tim Cone’s ‘triangle’ offense.
From 13.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists averages in the elimination round, the 6-foot-2 Yap’s numbers were consistent in the semifinals’ victory (4-1) against Barangay Ginebra with 13.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and two assists.
In B-Meg’s series clinching Game 5 win, Yap had 16 points with a pair of three-pointers, two boards and five assists in 34 minutes of action.
“Of course we’re excited again to be in the championship, and we know it’s going to be tough against coach Chot and Talk ’N Text. But we’re determined to win the title. We know we’re capable of doing it with coach Tim,” Yap said.
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