James Yap flashes vintage form as Rain or Shine reaches semis James Yap flashes vintage form as Rain or Shine reaches semis
The Elasto Painters clip GlobalPort to avoid being the 4th top seed in PBA history to succumb to a No. 8 squad in the... James Yap flashes vintage form as Rain or Shine reaches semis

James Yap flashes vintage form as Rain or Shine reaches semis

The Elasto Painters clip GlobalPort to avoid being the 4th top seed in PBA history to succumb to a No. 8 squad in the quarterfinals

Published 9:33 PM, July 12, 2018

Updated 9:33 PM, July 12, 2018

HOT HAND. James Yap turns back the hands of time by drilling in 7 triples to match his career-high. Photo from PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – James Yap couldn’t have picked a better time to play his best game in a Rain or Shine uniform as the Elasto Painters returned to the semifinals for the first time in two years.

The 36-year-old fired 27 points to lift Rain or Shine to a 103-97 win over the GlobalPort Batang Pier in their do-or-die quarterfinals game in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Thursday, July 12.

Coming off a 16-point outing in their crucial 113-114 Game 1 loss, Yap buried a career-high-matching 7 triples and helped Rain or Shine avoid being the 4th No. 1 team in PBA history to succumb to a No. 8 squad in the quarterfinals.

The Elasto Painters, who last made the semifinals in the 2016 edition of the mid-season conference, will tangle with the Barangay Ginebra in a best-of-5 semifinals series.

Rain or Shine led by as much as 16 points, 86-70, off a Yap trey before the Batang Pier slowly clawed their way back into the game.

Trailing 88-99 with 1:30 minutes remaining, GlobalPort unloaded a 9-2 spurt, capped by a Stanley Pringle triple, to make it a 4-point game but two Gabe Norwood freebies secured the win for the Elasto Painters.

Reggie Johnson finished with game-highs of 29 points and 15 rebounds to go with 6 assists while Raymond Almazan chipped in 16 markers, including 3 straight buckets that gave Rain or Shine a commanding 97-84 cushion.

Norwood made his presence felt for Rain or Shine with 7 points and 15 rebounds while Chris Tiu added 12 points, 3 assists and two rebounds.

Pringle, clobbered by Norwood’s defense throughout, still finished with team-highs of 23 points and 8 assists to go with 5 rebounds and two steals.

The Scores:

Rain or Shine (103): Johnson 29, Yap 27, Almazan 16, Tiu 12, Norwood 7, Belga 7, Ponferada 3, Daquioag 2, Ahanmisi 0, Borboran 0

GlobalPort (97): Pringle 23, Javelona 18, White 12, Grey 10, Anthony 10, Tautuaa 7, Taha 6, Teng 3, Espinas 2, Elorde 2, Guinto 2, Gabayni 2

Quarter scores: 24-22, 46-38, 75-67, 103-97

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