Re: Philippine Basketball Association Thread
JAMES YAP ON FIRE, LIFTS PUREFOODS TO WILDCARD
League MVP scores career-high 41 as Giants eliminate Dragons
Friday, 01 June 2007
ANTIPOLO CITY. -- James Yap erupted for a career-high 41 points and the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants secured their seat in the wildcard first phase of the playoffs with a 109-97 victory over the Welcoat Dragons Friday night in the penultimate playdate of the 2007 Talk ‘N Text-PBA Fiesta Conference eliminations at the Ynares Center.
To avoid possible complications that might impede their trip to the next round, the Giants took care of business early and never gave the do-or-die Dragons a slim chance to even make a game out of it.
And the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player stood at the forefront of the Giant's awesome performance, accounting for six of the Purefoods' 11 3-pointers while import Marquin Chandler and Rey Evangelista took turns in dominating the boards.
New recruit Romel Adducul and comebacking Marc Pingris didn't produced big numbers but Gregorio said the presence of the two provided inspiration to the team.
"We were very confident. And no one displayed it more than James (Yap). He took a lot of shots (31 attempts) knowing Marc (Pingris) will be there for the rebound," the Purefoods coach said.
The Giants wound up the elimination round with a 6-12 (win-loss) record and need two more victories – both knockout games in the wildcard phase of the playoffs -- to reach the best-of-three quarterfinals.
"I told the players to forget about the elimination round. It's not something that we will be proud about. But if there's one team that has made a good job of surviving, it's us... We have been on the brink of elimination many times this season but we've always found a way to survive," Gregorio said.
"Right now, we fell the conference has just started. And we're confident we'll find a way to get to the next level," he added.
Chandler tallied 23 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and missed a triple double by two assists. Peter June Simon, who was celebrating his 27th birthday, scored 16 points and Noy Castillo added 10 for the Giants, who won for just the second time in their last seven games.
The Dragons hoping to force a playoff for the last wildcard spot, did the best they could but couldn't get the break.
The expansion ballclub finished the conference with a 4-14 mark in the elims and 7-29 for the season.
Welcoat shot 47 percent from the field, slightly better than Purefoods’ 44 percent. But the Giants were steadier from the line hitting 18-of-25 attempts while the Dragons struggled with 8-for-23.
But it was Purefoods' three-point shooting that broke the backbone of the Dragons. The Giants went 11-for-30 from beyond the arc with James Yap going 6-for-14.
Overall, James Yap went 15-of-31 while scoring 28 of his points in the second half. His 3-pointer midway in the third quarter gave Purefoods a 65-38 bulge, the biggest lead in the game.
Wayland White scored 29 points and had 11 rebounds while Alex Compton added 19 for Welcoat, which made just 9-of-25 from 3-point range in what turned out to be the Dragons’ farewell performance for the season. (DBC)
Purefoods 109 – Yap J. 41, Chandler 23, Simon 16, Castillo 10, Yap R. 8, Evangelista 8, Yee 2, Adducul 1, Pingris 1.
Welcoat 97 – White 29, Compton 19, Wainwright 16, Cabatu 13, Baguion 7, Gelig 5, Reyes 4, Lopez 2, Sta. Maria 2, Lao 0.
Quarterscores: 25-14, 48-31, 75-57, 109-97