James Yap said Star’s ego-boosting 122-103 win over Blackwater dispelled the growing frustration that has started to creep within the team after opening the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup with 3 straight losses.
Yap got off to a hot-shooting start, firing 13 of his 15 points in the opening quarter, while the rest of the Hotshots took the cue from there that enabled Star to register the wire-to-wire win.
“Malaking bagay ito (win) kaisi kapag 0-4 kami, baka galit galit na kami lahat. Eh buti na lang nanalo kami, so yung sama ng loob nung natalo kami, nawala na saka gumaan na,” Yap told media men, moments after Star pulled off the 19-point victory Wednesday night.
The long-time face of the Purefoods franchise admitted that the Hotshots were tense in some ways, especially after dropping a 106-99 decision to the NLEX Road Warriors on Saturday in Binan, Laguna.
“Malaking bagay ito, sa 0-3 kasi, dun naglalabasan yung doubt, gaya nung ano ba ang kulang. As individuals, pag 0-3 ka, especially kung pangit ang laro mo, ang tanong eh, ‘kundisyon ba ako or hindi’?” shared Yap, who just turned 34 last week.
“Ang dami mong iniisip, so itong panalo, medyo nag-loosen up na kami.”
Yap, though, reminded his teammates that they haven’t accomplished anything yet with the win.
“Magaan ang pakiramdam at nanalo kami, pero siyempre, kailangan di mag-relax. Isa pa lang yan, 1-3 pa lang kami,” he said.
Star hopes to register its 1st back-to-back victories for the conference when it clashes with long-time rival Barangay Ginebra and Tim Cone, the Hotshots’ former coach in the main game on Sunday. — By Richard Dy