PBA: James Yap turns back clock, sends Rain or Shine to semis


Posted at Jul 12 2018 09:30 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2018 10:25 PM

James Yap delivered his best game in years to tow Rain or Shine to the semis. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA -- (UPDATED) Rain or Shine avoided the upset axe Thursday by hammering out a tough 103-97 victory over a relentless GlobalPort squad to move on to a semifinal duel with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Two-time MVP James Yap flashed his old fighting form with 27 points, including seven big triples.

But the Elasto Painters, who entered the quarterfinals as the top seed, had to endure another scare from eighth seed Batang Pier when GlobalPort came close to stealing a victory in the end game.

After trailing Rain or Shine by 16 points, GlobalPort pulled to within four points, 97-101, after unloading a vicious 7-0 run capped by Stanley Pringle's booming triple with 45 seconds to go.

But that was all the Batang Pier could muster as the Elasto Painters managed to hold on to the lead while running out the clock.

Reggie Johnson topscored the Elasto Painters with 29 points, while Raymond Almazan and Chris Tiu added 16 and 12, respectively.

Pringle led the way for the Batang Pier with 23 points.

In Game 1 of their quarterfinals showdown, GlobalPort shocked Rain or Shine with a slim 114-113 win in a thriller of a game.

Yap, who was part of the top-seeded B-Meg squad that was ousted by an eighth seed Powerade in 2012 All Filipino Cup, was glad they got over the hump.

“Naalala ko ‘yun and ayaw kong mangyari ulit 'yun. Siyempre all out ako kasi alam ko ang pakiramdam nun. Masakit,” he said.

According to the league’s chief statistician, Fidel Mangonon, this was Yap's biggest game in the past four PBA seasons.
“Basta ako always ready lang. At 'pag binigyan ng playing time dapat magdeliver ka. Buti na lang, thank God, nag-work,” Yap said.

Rain or Shine, which advanced to its first semis appearance since 2016, will next take on early semifinalist Barangay Ginebra. 

The scores:

Rain or Shine 103 - Johnson 29, Yap 27, Almazan 16, Tiu 12, Norwood 7, Belga 7, Ponferada 3, Daquioag 2, Ahanmisi 0, Borboran 0.

GlobalPort 97 - Pringle 23, Javelona 18, White 12, Grey 10, Anthony 10, Tautuaa 7, Taha 6, Teng 3, Espinas 2, Elorde 2, Gabayni 2.

Quarters: 24-22, 46-38, 75-67, 103-97.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.