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'Vintage' Yap sizzles as E-Painters subdue R-Warriors

PBA Media Bureau
By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA--The James Yap of old has finally returned. 

Fresh from signing a three-year contract extension, Yap put up vintage numbers of 20 points in Rain Or Shine's 96-87 win over NLEX in the nightcap of Friday action of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. 

The 36-year old former league MVP Yap fired 11 points in a searing second-quarter that enabled the Elasto Painters to pull away for a winning start against former coach Yeng Guiao and the Road Warriors.

Rookie Javee Mocon also impressed in his first game in the league, finishing with 13 markers and five rebounds in 18 solid minutes. 

Jewel Ponferada had 12 markers, while Maverick Ahanmisi and Norbert chipped 11 apiece for Rain Or Shine, playing minus injured big man Raymond Alamazan. 

"Both teams couldn't shoot in the first six minutes. We had a bad start but we had a good ball movement, and James stepped up big time," said winning coach Caloy Garcia.

"It's really difficult playing against NLEX. It’s a good start for us this conference," he later added. 

Garcia also lauded the performance of Mocon, the #6 overall pick and former NCAA Finals MVP.

"From his San Beda days, he showed malakas ang katawan niya at kayang makipagsabayan. The nice thing is that he doesn't stop working hard," Garcia also said.

JR QuiƱahan led the charge for NLEX with 19 points, while come-backing guard Kevin Alas and debuting Poy Erram produced 12 and 10, respectively. 

The scores:

Rain or Shine 96 – Yap 20, Mocon 13, Ponferada 12, Ahanmisi 11, Torres 11, Belga 9, Rosales 7, Daquioag 5, Norwood 4, Nambatac 4, Maiquez 0, Borboran 0, Alejandro 0.

NLEX 87 – Quinahan 19, Magat 13, Alas 12, Erram 10, Porter 10, Paniamogan 8, Ighalo 6, Fonacier 4, Soyud 3, Tallo 2, Tiongson 0, Baguio 0, Galanza 0.

Quarters: 17-21; 40-31; 72-57; 96-87. 

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