Manila, Philippines – An injured right elbow has forced San Mig Super Coffee’s star player and PBA two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap to miss two games, and when he returned to action, it was clear he was far from being one hundred percent.
However, Yap isn’t using the injury as an excuse as he vowed to improve his condition.
“Sa ngayon may movement ‘yung braso ko na masakit talaga ‘pag naka-direcho, mahirap tumira na parang pigil,” Yap said. “Kaya konting adjust na lang pag-tumitira ako. Pahinga lang talaga kailangan nito para gumaling.”
The 6-foot-2 Yap, who averaged 12 points per game this conference, led the Mixers with 14 points in San Mig’s 72-64 setback to Meralco last Wednesday, his first game back after missing two games due to a
hyper-extended right elbow.
The loss dropped San Mig to 1-5.
Yap wore a white arm sleeve, which is made out of nylon and spandex with padding on the elbow to prevent further injuries. He struggled though even with the protection as he shot 6-of-23 from the fi eld, missing all four attempts from free throw line.
The 31-year-old Yap played 37 minutes and he was one shy of a rebound for a double-double, although he was scoreless in the final quarter.
Yap said he is just about 70 percent, but his injury doesn’t require surgery. While he needs more time to fully recover, Yap said he just had to play with the pain as he wants to help San Mig get back to playoff contention.
“Hindi na naman kailangan ng surgery, pahinga lang talaga and strengthening, conditioning. May maga pa din kasi sa loob, pero gusto ko na talaga mag-laro e. ‘Yung 10 days nga nakaka-bore na. Gusto ko na talaga makatulong sa team,” said Yap.
San Mig actually started with three key players on the injured list with PJ Simon (foot), Joe Devance (knee) and Allein Maliksi (ACL). Simon returned to action in the Mixers’ fourth game, but that was when Yap missed his first of two games.
Devance has also rejoined the team last week, and Yap followed him four days late.
Maliksi is expected to miss several more weeks as he continues to recover from his injury, while rookie Justine Menton, who played in the team’s first two games, will likely return this week after sustaining a hamstring injury.
San Mig will next play Barako Bull on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.