San Mig's Yap named Player of the Week
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee guard James Yap has been named the PBA Player of the Week for the period of September 2-8 after his strong play on both ends of the court powered the Mixers to two victories the past week.
Yap averaged 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in San Mig’s wins against GlobalPort and Barangay Ginebra last week, but head coach Tim Cone was happiest with the All-Star guard’s contribution on defense.
“He’s turned his defense up,” Cone said in a PBA.ph report. “Yeah, he’s shooting the ball well, but that means very little to me from a coaching standpoint. To me, he’s been doing all the other stuff, and he’s really doing it now.”
“He deserves (the award) from a scoring standpoint, but also for the rest of the stuff. He’s led us,” he added. “I think he has really inspired his teammates by his defense and the effort there.”
Yap was instrumental in limiting GlobalPort star Gary David and Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa in their two games the past week, while at the same time improving his percentages on offense.
He started the Governors’ Cup averaging just 5.0 points on 2-of-24 field goal shooting but has normed 19.0 points in their last four games.
“Siguro marami masyadong iniisip,” Yap said of his slump early in the conference. “Pero tuloy lang ang mga workout, strengthening, and then extra time sa practice.”
“I think I said back then that the (slump) was the best thing that ever happened to him because he’s turned it all up,” Cone noted.
The Coffee Mixers now have a 3-3 record, tied with Rain or Shine for a share of fifth place. They remain on track for a spot in the top four, which carries with it a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.