source: Jaemark Tordecilla | InterAKTV
After James Yap continued his shooting slump in the first half of B-MEG game against Powerade on Sunday, Llamados coach Tim Cone had a strange reaction: amusement.
“I just had to laugh and shake my head after the first half, I couldn’t believe it,” said Cone about his star player’s shooting woes.
Yap was coming off a seven-point, 2-of-13 shooting performance in B-MEG’s loss against Rain or Shine, and missed his first eight shots in the opening half against the Tigers. But the coach remained confident that the two-time Most Valuable Player awardee was going to find his shooting touch eventually.
“He was just too good of a player to keep missing,” said Cone.
Yap proved his coach right, scoring on a sensational fastbreak layup for his first field goal in the third quarter. He followed it up with three shots from beyond the arc to allow the Llamados to take a 73-63 third-quarter cushion over the Tigers. Yap ended up with 15 points for the game.
Still, Cone said that the team needs to make adjustments to its offensive game to give its top gun an easier time.
“We’ve got to do a better job of helping James get open looks,” said Cone. He noted that defenders are playing Yap extremely tightly.
“Because he’s such a big, strong guy, officials are allowing defenders to get more physical with him,” said Cone. Listed at 205 lbs., Yap is noticeably bigger than other high-scoring guards in the league such as Gary David, Mark Caguioa, and Mac Cardona.
The Llamados will have plenty of time to tweak its system to help Yap. With its win against Powerade, B-MEG assured itself of at least a playoff for an automatic spot in the semifinal round. A loss by either Ginebra or Talk ‘N Text on Wednesday will give the Llamados a ticket to the PBA final four.