As a Purefoods fan, I've learned how to live with James Yap as my team's MVP. Well, lifelong Purefoods fans have had plenty of practice; for starters, we've spent most of our days not just rooting for the Hotdogs, but the Tender Juicy Hotdogs. They renamed the team, but it hasn't gotten marginally better. The team was renamed the Purefoods Chunkee Giants, to promote the company's corned beef brand, and when it was time to go back to promoting hotdogs, management apparently liked the Giants moniker so much that the team is now known as the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants.
That wasn't the end of it though. We still had to deal with stupid crap about Alvin Patrimonio (usually from the ignorant, unwashed masses), his being an overpaid crybaby, and his offcourt dealings, like his short-lived showbiz career (and even more short-lived affair with Kris Aquino) and insinuations about Nap Gutierrez being his boyfriend.
So yeah, you kinda let all that crap (Kris, Baby James, Hope, the whole K-Pop metrosexual thing) and concentrate on the basketball. And because I do spend an ungodly amount thinking about things like when the Giants' moronic coach Ryan Gregorio will finally be fired (I did a Google search for 'Ryan Gregorio sucks' and found an article that I wrote for Peyups.com four years ago) and wondering whether backup point guard Chico Lanete is mildly retarded (especially after he airballs another fadeaway 3-pointer with 18 seconds left on the shot clock, the 294th of his career).
The first video was a from a game against Red Bull last conference, as James Yap hits a fadeaway jumper from the top of the key with 0.7 seconds to go:
I remember watching this at my old apartment while my housemate Urk was having dinner. Even he let out a yell when Yap hit the shot. And because of the awesomeness of YouTube, here's a fan video of the play:
It's been an infamous year for Yap. He was in the middle of the controversy during the Philippine Cup finals against Sta. Lucia for being suspended for a game in the Finals after smacking Joseph Yeo in the face. Although, to be fair to Yap, wouldn't you like a chance to smack that smug look off Yeo's face too? Purefoods lost the game wherein Yap was suspended, and ultimately lost the series in seven games.
But no, Yap's craziest moment came during a brawl against Talk N Text during the last conference. He wasn't involved in the initial altercation, but he gave a sucker kick to Talk N Text's import Terrence Leather, which led to Leather chasing Yap all over the court:
Good thing he wasn't caught, because Leather was just about ready to take his head off. Leather got ejected, and Yap escaped with a mere technical foul.
It wasn't all bad though, because just recently, Yap had a highlight for the ages during their first game against Air 21 in the current Philippine Cup. Purefoods was down by three with the ball, and Kerby Raymundo had just missed a shot in the dying seconds. So Yap beat Arwind Santos for the offensive rebound, chased the ball to the corner, tiptoed the baseline and the sideline, and launched a turnaround, fadeaway three-pointer from behind the backboard to tie the game.