Wednesday, January 5, 2011


James Yap played sick, struggled with his shooting and spent most of the fourth quarter on the

So with the game on the line, guess who played the hero’s role? Right. James Yap.

The B-Meg Derby Ace star made a free throw then came up with key defensive stop in the dying
seconds of Game 2 as the defending champion Llamados held off a late charge by Talk ‘N Text for a
thrilling 88-87 victory Wednesday that evened their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series at one game

“Struggle talaga ako. Walang stamina. Puso na lang talaga ang nagdadala. Pero hindi man ako
umiskor at least makatulong man lang tayo sa depensa,” said James Yap, bothered by colds and a bad
cough that kept him sleepless the past two nights.

Last season’s MVP was limited to playing 31 minutes during which he scored 13 points while
shooting a woeful 2-of-12 from the field.

But the sellout crowd that showed up at the Araneta Coliseum won’t care about those numbers. What
they’ll remember was how James Yap saved the day for B-Meg Derby Ace, spoiling Talk 'N Text’s
mighty comeback from 15 points down.

The Tropang Texters pulled to within 87-88 on Kelly Williams’ picture-perfect alley-oop dunk off
a Ranidel de Ocampo inbounds pass with 37.4 seconds remaining and had a chance to steal the game
when Derby Ace’s PJ Simon missed on a three-pointer.

Larry Fonacier grabbed the defensive rebound but his lead pass to Ryan Reyes was too strong it
nearly went out of bounds.

Talk 'N Text managed to save possession and went to Jimmy Alapag, who drove hard in the lane. But
instead of going for the shot, the veteran guard guard, who sparked the Tropang Texters’ charge,
opted to pass the ball to the open but surprised Ryan Reyes, who couldn’t handle the pass courtesy
of James Yap’s leech-like guarding leading to TNT’s golden chance to take a 2-0 lead going up in

“Pasalamat kami kay James. Buti na lang na-force niya yung turnover. For the first time
nag-defense din si James,” said Roger Yap, who returned back in the rotation after missing Game 1
with a sore foot.

PJ Simon, whose scoring James Yap said was crucial in their campaign, collected 28 points to pace
the Llamados, who also got 14 points from Rico Maierhofer, 13 from Nino Canaleta and 10 from mark

“This is a big game for us because it make it [series] a best-of-5 na lang,” said B-Meg Derby
Ace coach Jorge Gallent, adding its crucial for them to sustain the momentum and keep on giving Talk
'N Text different looks on defense.

Alapag scored 18 points and Williams had 17 and 11 rebounds for Talk 'N Text, who shot just 36
percent from the field and turned the ball over 23 times.

De Ocampo, who missed most part of the elimination round after undergoing foot surgery, was visibly
out of sync and managed just seven points.

The defending champions seized control in the second quarter by outscoring the Tropang Texters,
30-17, and holding them to 6-of-21 shooting from the field on the way to a 43-32 halftime advantage.

Talk 'N Text 32 points in two quarters was the lowest for the team in any half this conference.

Derby Ace took its biggest lead at 52-37 four minutes into the third quarter on a 3-pointer by

The Llamados’ offense went cold in the fourth, allowing Talk 'N Text to slowly claw back but the
defending champs managed to hold on even with James Yap taking a breather. (DBC)

The scores:

B-Meg Derby Ace 88 - Simon 28, Maierhofer 14, Canaleta 13, Yap J. 13, Pingris 10, Gaco 4, Yap R. 4,
Salvador 2, Timberlake 0, Villanueva 0, Allado 0.

Talk ‘N Text 87 - Alapag 18, Williams 17, Reyes 14, Castro 11, Peek 9, De Ocampo 7, Aban 5, Carey
4, Dillinger 2, Yee 0, Fonacier 0.

Quarterscores: 13-15, 43-32, 64-59, 88-87

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