MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine veteran James Yap thanked his teammates for picking up the slack after he sustained a groin injury that forced him to make an early exit in their game against Phoenix on Sunday.
Yap had been playing his best game of the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup so far, having put up 15 points on an efficient 6-of-10 clip.
However, he asked to be subbed out of the game with 7:29 to play in the third quarter, and did not return to the game.
"Actually James was one of the locals who was playing well but nagkaroon siya ng groin injury. Nagpa-sub siya then he said na hindi niya na kaya dahil may na-ano nga daw sa groin niya," said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
"Sayang kasi I think he was playing his best game of this conference," added the coach.
Rain or Shine went on to win, 89-82, behind import Denzel Bowles who unloaded 16 of his game-high 28 points in the final quarter of the game.
Afterward, Yap said he did not want to risk suffering a more severe injury, and thus asked to be taken out of the contest.
"Sumakit ang groin so 'di ko na lang pinilit, baka mapunit eh. So na-feel ko talaga, 'pag pinilit ko pa mapupunit talaga," he revealed. "Alam ko 'pag groin, 'pag napunit masyadong matagal eh kaya di ko na lang... nagpa-sub na lang ako."
"Buti nanalo," Yap added. "Thank you sa mga teammates ko. Binigyan nila ako ng bonus."
Yap intends to get checked up on Tuesday, and hopes that the injury is nothing serious.
"Sana rest lang 'to at strengthening," he said.
Like his coach, Yap was disappointed that he was unable to finish the game, given how he had been playing. Garcia further noted that they needed a veteran of Yap's caliber in the end game, when they had to fend off Phoenix's last-ditch attempts at a comeback.
"Sayang, sayang, oo, sayang," said Yap.
"Nakapag-take off na sana nang kaunti, tapos hindi nagtuloy-tuloy," he lamented. "Although okay lang – panalo naman eh."
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