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PBA: Yap, Lee face each other

Ginebra's LA Tenorio drives against Mahindra's Jeric Teng and teammate Mark Yeeduring the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday night. (Jay Ganzon)

RoS takes on Star; Ginebra battles Alaska


Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Star vs Rain or Shine
6:45 p.m. – Alaska vs Ginebra

Nearly two months after completing the biggest trade of the season, Rain or Shine and Star collide today in the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It will mark the first meeting between two-time PBA MVP James Yap and former Gilas star guard Paul Lee who will face their former teams in the first game of a regular doubleheader at 4:30 p.m.

Clashing in the nightcap at 6:45 p.m. are Alaska and Barangay Ginebra.

Yap, who had been the face of the Star franchise for many years, was dealt to the Elasto Painters for Lee who had just won his second championship with RoS.

“Medyo nakaka-panibago siguro pag-dating sa game,” said Lee, who was picked No. 2 overall pick by RoS in 2011. He was later named Rookie of the Year.

Yap, still recovering from a knee injury, shares the same sentiment, considering his close ties with teammates Marc Pingris and PJ Simon.

“Matagal nating naka-sama, naging teammates sila Ping and PJ, and iba pa na kasama manalo ng Grand Slam, so iba yung pakiramdam,” said Yap, who won MVP honors in 2006 and 2010.

After struggling in the first two games, Lee leads the Hotshots in scoring with nearly 15 points per game while Yap has averages of almost 12 points in two games.

Both University of the East stalwarts hope to improve their teams’ respective standings.

Currently in a three-way tie at 3-1 with defending champion San Miguel Beer and GlobalPort, Rain or Shine is coming off a 107-93 win over Blackwater last Dec. 9.

Star, on the other hand, is gunning for third straight win after topping NLEX (99-75) and Phoenix Fuel (123-79) to raise its record to 2-2.
The other match pits two teams tied for sixth to ninth places with Star and Meralco.

The Aces are still fresh from a come-from-behind 81-79 win over the Bolts last Wednesday while the Kings edged hapless Mahindra Floodbusters, 89-70, last Friday.