Injury won’t slow him down, as two time MVP, James Yap scores 34 to lead San Mig Coffee Mixers over Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Down in the Philippine Cup semifinals against a dangerous opponent, San Mig Coffee was playing with a sense of desperation.
And just like in past big games, it was Big Game James who carried the day for the Mixers.
James Yap scored 34 points, including 16 in the pivotal third quarter, and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead San Mig Coffee to a 106-82 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Game Two to level their best-of-seven series Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
James Yap, who injured his knee in Game One, did most of his damage from beyond the arc, shooting 7-of-12 from the three-point line.
“We had to play this game at a desperation level,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone. “We couldn’t go down 2-0.”
The Mixers won the third quarter, 37-22, to turn the game around after a tight first half. Trailing 38-40 at halftime, San Mig Coffee exploded for 68 points in the next 24 minutes with Yap and Joe Devance alternately scorching the Elasto Painters and avenged their 91-83 Game One loss.
James Yap had plenty of support from the rest of the Mixers, as Mark Barroca and Joe Devance added 17 points apiece, while Peter June Simon added 13. Barroca also had seven rebounds and eight assists.
“We shortened our rotation and that put pressure on James (Yap), Mark (Barroca) and PJ (Simon), to play extra minutes. They did a wonderful job tonight but I’m not sure we can do that every game,” said Cone.
“We went to smaller lineup and got the match up we wanted. We were really determined to win the battle of match-ups and in the second half, it looks like we did.”
On the other end, the Mixers hounded the Rain or Shine’s top guns into woeful shooting. Jeff Chan shot just 3-of-10 from the field, while Paul Lee was 2-of-12.
The frustration was evident for the Elasto Painters, with coach Yeng Guiao getting ejected in the third quarter after his second technical foul.
“We just got frustrated with the calls. We felt that they were allowing too much contact against us while we couldn’t defend them with the same amount of contact they were giving (to the other team),” said Guiao.
SAN MIG COFFEE 106 – Yap 34, Barroca 17, Devance 17, Simon 13, Pingris 9, Gonzales 6, Reavis 4, Ramos 3, De Ocampo 3, Pacana 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 82 – Rodriguez 12, Quinahan 12, Chan 10, Cruz 9, Belga 9, Lee 7, Matias 7, Ibanes 7, Arana 5, Norwood 2, Tang 2, Tiu 0.
Quarters: 18-27, 38-40, 75-62, 106-82