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Vintage PBA Is Well And Alive, Thanks To James Yap And Gary David

These seasoned stars still have a lot left in the tank
by John Paulo Aguilera | Mar 20, 2017
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Basketball is all about youth nowadays; half of the Gilas Pilipinas pool are rookies, while 13 teams in the NBA have an average age of 25 and lower.

The PBA, however, might be the only exception, with the likes of Asi Taulava (44 years old) and Jayjay Helterbrand (40) still logging significant minutes for their respective squads. The local pro league sees its seasoned players contribute more often than not, as compared to its American counterparts.

The veteran movement is in full swing during the preliminary games of the Commissioner's Cup, based on a couple of spirited performances from Rain or Shine Elasto Painters' James Yap and Kia Floodbuster's Gary David.

The name's James, Big Game James

26 PTS 9-15 FG 5-11 3PT 3-3 FT 

This was like a statement game for those who called the Paul Lee trade lopsided, with the Elasto Painters said to be on the losing end for getting a player who is seven years older. Yap silenced talk about his supposed decline with age and instead lived up to his moniker 'The Man With A Million Moves,' swishing long bombs and pulling off one-handers against the NLEX Road Warriors on Friday's opening night, capped by that clutch three off a killer crossover.

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He followed up with a solid 12 points in their second game this conference, against Kia, but he wasn't the best elder statesman on Sunday...


El Granada redux

13 PTS 5-9 FG 3-6 3PT

After going scoreless in just nine minutes against the Meralco Bolts, David was cut loose by coach Chris Gavina in the fourth quarter versus ROS, and boy, did he reward his mentor's trust. The spitfire guard brought back memories of his scoring heyday, exploding for all his points in the final canto, including an off-balanced three-pointer in Yap's face. He almost steered his squad to victory, if not for Jeff Chan's lone conversion from beyond the arc in overtime.

Despite the outcome, the most important takeaway from the match is that David has a lot left in the tank, if given the ample opportunity.


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