James Yap leads San Mig Coffee to victory against Barangay Ginebra


San Mig Coffee bucked the absence of PBA players Marc Pingris and Joe Devance with an inspired performance from team-mate James Yap and another double-double showing from Marqus Blakely as the Mixers eked out an 89-86 win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Yap finished with a total of 19 points but it was his defense, particularly on Barangay Ginebra star Mark Caguioa, that earned more praise from coach Tim Cone.

The two-time Most Valuable Player Yap hounded reigning MVP Caguioa to a tough night, with the Ginebra guard missing all his shots from the field and finishing with only six points.

Caguioa shot a woeful 0-for-11 clip in the game.

“I don’t know if anybody has noticed, but probably the best defensive player on the court was James Yap,” said Cone.

“He’s just tremendous defensively. He guarded Gary David in the last game. Yes, Gary got going, but that was when James was off the floor. Then he guarded Caguioa tonight and he did a tremendous job. He’s really stepping up and has contributed on both ends of the floor.”

“I’m really, really proud of him. That part of his game has really been overshadowed and he’s taken the challenge, stepping up and doing that.”

Yap had a hot start, scoring 14 of his total, including two three-pointers, in the first two periods.

Caguioa, in contrast, was held to just two points in the first half and missed all of his three attempts from the field in the 14 minutes he played.

The scores:

San Mig Coffee (89) – Blakely 30, Yap 19, Barroca 10, Simon 10, Maliksi 8, De Ocampo 6, Reavis 4, Mallari 2, Acuna 0, Gaco 0.

Barangay Ginebra (86) – Lowhorn 29, Tenorio 17, Ellis 8, Wilson 7, Baracael 6, Mamaril 6, Caguioa 6, Helterbrand 5, Maierhofer 2, Ababou 0, Urbiztondo 0.

Quarters: 22-26, 43-40, 66-63, 89-86.

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