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Yap says he never imagined being a 10K club member

File photo

By Ivan Saldajeno

ANTIPOLO--The last time a PBA player scored his 10,000th career point, James Yap was still a budding star for UE in the UAAP.

So it was not surprising that he told reporters on Saturday night at the Ynares Center that scoring 10,000 or more points in his pro career never crossed his mind.

"Di ko ma-imagine na nakuha ko yun," said Yap, who became only the 15th member to be part of the elite scoring list.

[Related Story: Yap joins elite 10K points club]

In fact, he also said that he was surprised that even before the game, the rest of his Rain Or Shine crew were already congratulating him for the said achievement.

"Sobrang dami na ang nagko-congratulate sa akin [kahit] di ko pa nakukuha," he further said.

The race for 10K eventually came to his mind, and it cost him a good first half as he ended up scoreless in the first 24 minutes.

But as the third quarter rolled along, he got his shooting touch back and racked up five points in just a few minutes, including a left corner triple with 49.3 seconds left in the period that brought him to the 10,000-point mark.

"Ang hirap, di ba? Second half pa," Yap, who finished with seven points that upped his career total to 10,004, joked.

However, the milestone came at a price as the Elasto Painters fell prey to the Meralco Bolts.

[Related Story: Meralco sizzles in second half to depose ROS]

Curiously, it was in the final 24 minutes that ROS imploded, giving up 31 Meralco points in the third quarter and only making 12 in the final canto.

"Yun naman ang importante eh. Dapat manalo. After [getting the 10,000th point] ko na lang inisip yun. Sayang, pero ganun talaga ang laro. Di naman natin makukuha lahat," Yap rued.

Still, he can now breathe a sight of relief now that the milestone race is already done.

"At least, nakuha na. Nakasama na tayo sa [record] book ng PBA," Yap continued.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno