Guard Showdown: Lee, Yap: Who Would Lead His Team to Greatness?

James Yap and Paul Lee

Ever since the trade between Paul Lee and James Yap happened, comparisons arise from time to time. 

This season, let us try to extract possible outcomes for this two superstar guards with their respective teams.

The question is who would succeed this season?

It is obvious that the two guards light became dim at the time they’ve been traded. It is because they’ve lost the built chemistry with the former team. Star Hotshots, Now the Magnolia Hotshots is a defensive team, while Rain or Shine is a run and gun type. An offensive and defensive team is very much different with all aspects especially game pace which when he used to a specific one, will take a significant amount of a time to adapt to a new one.
The variety of their teams explained their dormancy this past season. The gameplay is so new to Lee and Yap that they’re being veteran in the league seemed to shrink to a negligible, insignificant amount.
I have mentioned earlier about the ‘built chemistry’ of Paul Lee with the Elasto Painters and James Yap with the former Star Hotshots. From the term itself ‘built’, chemistry is not an inherent character of a team, it is a substance built through experience. Assuming that one season is a relatively sufficient amount of time for the chemistry to be established with their new teams, how and what will be their role and whose team would be greater?

1. The Elasto Painters with James Yap

Almost everybody in ROS can deliver from beyond the arc. In fact, even the biggest man there is like Beau Belga could easily drill threes. With the addition of James Yap in their pool, they could even empower the run and gun style of ROS by significantly increasing outside efficiency with Yap. A more accurate and efficient three-point shooting would be ROS’ main card.

2. Hotshots with the Leethal Weapon

Paul Lee is known to be one of the players with the best handle in the league. The Filipino basketball lacks that and that makes Paul Lee an exceptional guard. He could play in all kinds of situation and make baskets for himself or for his teammates with his fancy dribbling skills. With Paul Lee in a defensive team like Magnolia, their defensive stops being converted to points probability would increase. A point guard which can cross over and cut through the defense without using screens much would be very great because the original positions of the play would not be disrupted during set up of play. All Paul Lee needs is isolation.

Who would be a better team?

With the ROS, it is only an empowered outside shooting. They just have an improved old style. But with the Hotshots, Paul Lee’s skills would make the whole team look and play different especially offensively. It would be the Magnolia over ROS this season.

Balls-Eye: Top 5 Point Guards to Hustle this Season

Top 5 Point Guards to Hustle this Season

With a known disadvantage brought by the presence of two twin towers. The playmaker providing an extra boost for the team is a must. Here are 5 players that will surely go head-to-head this season.

1. Scottie Thompson

Scottie Thompson
Despite Brgy Ginebra having its own twin tower. They are one of the must beat team today. They need some extra push aside from Japeth and Greg and extra efforts require some exceptionality which Scottie Thompson possesses. His unusual style of playing as a guard would increase Gin Kings’ unpredictability.

2. Terrence Romeo

Terrence Romeo
Of course, Romeo wouldn’t be missing in action. It became his nature as a huge scorer for the Batang Pier. Romeo is also hungry for the title. At his young career, he already has proven himself and there’s only one thing left to cement his legacy, winning a title. Surely, Romeo gets fiercer and fiercer with every cup that he and Globalport haven’t won or even reached the finals.

3 and 4. James Yap and Paul Lee

As criticisms arise that trading these two guys onto each other’s respective teams are ineffective. Yap and Lee surely have the drive to convert criticisms into fallacies. Both of their teams were powerhouses and they do not want them though explicit, be these teams reason to sink to the abyss.

5. Jayson Castro

Jayson Castro
Who can match the speed of the blur? The best point guard in Asia would never be left behind the point guard showdown. Though it might be hard for Castro to penetrate when against Ginebra and SMB, he’ll make threes rain on the arena.

Balls-Eye: Paul Lee and James Yap Shall be Back from their Previous Teams

Switching the Leethal Weapon and the Man with a Million Moves to each other’s team turned these two superstars into mere white dwarfs. 

Jamed Yap and Paul Lee

Even former Coach of Rain or Shine Yeng Guiao said: “I feel sad about it, that’s for sure”. It is understandable on the part of Coach Yeng because as we all know him, he is very serious when it comes to basketball, not even smiling at the court. A very strict and hard talent cultivator so it will surely break his heart to see his team go down just because he left them.
When this huge trade became real, we saw its adverse effects. Both the Star Hotshots and Rain or Shine Elasto Painters consistently make it to the top stages of the league especially Rain or Shine which frequently reaches the Finals but always lose against SMB. 
Nevertheless, both of this teams are powerhouses that give everyone in the league a hard path in reaching the championship. But right now, both of these teams are slowly loosening their grip, becoming underdogs against other teams that used to be their match.
Both these guys are the crowd’s favorite when they were on the team but it became different when they are at each other’s camp.

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Years ago, James Yap as part of the ‘San Mig Coffee Mixers’ said that “Masarap kalaban ang Ginebra e kasi pag natatalo sila madami iiyak”. The fire of Manila Classico weakened as James yap left the team which Ginebra Fans are rooting for all the time. The hype of the longest standing rivalry is dying. The PBA tradition of this classic clash is fading out.


Their skills could’ve remained the same but it’s their effectiveness that was left at loss. No individual skill can overpower a perfect blend of teamwork and leadership built up by experience and friendship.
Bring back these guys to where they came from and let them be back in the tight clash, the powerhouse pool with the Beermen, Ginebra, TNT and Bolts. We do not want such talents to be wasted. They aren’t getting any younger so we have to make the most out of what they can do now and the remaining years of their ultimate careers.

James Yap and the Other 14 Members of the PBA 10,000 Points Club

 Last night a milestone was reached by James Yap. 

At the third quarter, Rain or Shine was playing Meralco Bolts James Yap positioned himself for a three assisted by Chris Tolomia, then hit his 10,000 points. James Yap scored a total of 7 points last night enough to break the barriers that have not been broken since 2001 by Jerry Codinera.

Yap, a two-time MVP winner, is now the 15th member of the group 10,000 Points Club.
1. Atoy Co
2. Francis Arnaiz
3. Mon Fernandez
4. Abet Guidaben
5. Philip Cezar
6. Bogs Adornado
7. Robert Jaworski
8. Allan Caidic
9. Alvin Patrimonio
10. Benjie Paras
11. Jojo Lastimosa
12. Nelson Asaytono
13. Jerry Codinera
14. Norman Black
15. James Yap

BREAKING: Star Hotshots’ James Yap traded for Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee

BREAKING: Star Hotshots' James Yap traded for Rain or Shine's Paul Lee

This might be the biggest deal of the year so far, Star Hotshots have dealt marquee player James Yap for Rain or Shine’s Paul Lee.

According to sources, the deal were hammered out after the Elasto Painters management failed to lock down Paul Lee to a three-year contract extension.

James Yap, 34, will be wearing another jersey for the first time in his entire pro career. The 2x PBA MVP played 11 seasons with the Purefoods franchise where he won 7 championships. He averaged 15.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.7 minutes per game in his tenure with the franchise. He and newly-acquired Jay Washington will provide some veteran presence for the Elasto Painters.

The Elasto Painters continue their massive overhaul of their roster after Coach Yeng Guiao left the team to coach the NLEX Road Warriors. Earlier this morning, J.R. Quinahan has been traded according to multiple reports and acquired Paul Lee on the same day.

Paul Lee, 27, will also be playing for his second team in the PBA. He played 5 seasons and won 2 championships with the the Elasto Painters. He averaged 13.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists with his former team.

The Star Hotshots are now loaded with talented guards composing of Justin Melton, Mark Barroca, P.J. Simon, R.R. Garcia, Alex Mallari and the newly acquired Paul Lee

The Biggest Question for Each PBA Team Entering the Gov. Cup

(c) PBA Media Bureau

A long break always brings out hopes and unrestrained optimism from the fans, players, coaches and management. In a few days, the final conference of the 2016 PBA season will begin and those hopes and aspirations will diminish for a lot of teams. 

Only few of those expectations will be reached and fulfilled during the conference. Before we go to that agonizing process, let us run down the biggest question that hangs on each team.

Alaska Aces – what was the effect of the Gilas cut to Calvin Abueva?
I think the whole PBA universe will watch Calvin this conference. They want to see his response on the controversial Gilas cut. They want to see him proved to coach Tab that he should have been there. But, it can also go the other way. That can lead him to be wilder that will result to more mistakes and fouls

Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel – Who can they trust to get the minutes of Slaughter during his absence?
Every game is important in an 11-games elimination round. Remember, only eight teams will survived the elimination round and the 5th to 8th will have twice-to-beat disadvantage. With the early exit of Gilas and with little playing time there, I expect Japeth to play right away and hold the center position.

Now, the PF position will be interesting. I think Joe Devance will be the frontrunner to take it but Dave Marcelo and a small line-up with Paul Harris getting the PF spot are interesting options too.

Blackwater Elite – Will Carlo Lastimosa and Roi Sumang fit beside each other?
 I am pretty sure that one of the vision of the Elite is Sumang and Lastimosa playing well together and creating one of the best scoring backcourt in the league. Both need to improved their defense and playmaking to be a better player and a better fit to each other. 

Globalport Batang Pier – How to divide the minutes to their loaded backcourt rotation?

Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle, Karl Dehesa, Joseph Yeo and now Omar Krayem, that is the depth of the backcourt of Globalport! Unfortunately, they only have 96 minutes to divide between those five. Maybe Coach Franz will try to play a super small line-up by giving minutes to Dehesa or Yeo or Krayem in the 3. That is possible, but will it work?

Mahindra Enforcers – Can Canaleta and Ramos proved that their performance last conference were not flukes?

Nino Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos risen and exhibited last conference that they can be the main players with their 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 42.2% 3FG and 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 41.7% 3FG, respectively. Now, the jury is still out for the two of them. Can they do it again?

Meralco Bolts – Who will get more minutes, Amer or Alapag?
The Bolts is in a very weird situation. They want to develop their young players and contend in the same time. That is not the easiest path to take but they managed to reached semis, last conference, and still give Baser 17.8 minutes a game. Will coach Norman give the bigger chunk to Jimmy once again, or will he commit more on giving experience to Baser? 

NLEX Road Warriors – is Garvo Lanete an elite shooter?
He finally got the minutes last conference and he did well enough to merit those minutes again this conference. It is very clear that Coach Boyet wants him to be their catch and shoot sniper and his 33.7% efficiency last conference is very promising. If he can put up a better mark, I am pretty sure their opponent will start to respect him.

Phoenix Fuel Masters – Who will they trade next?
Phoenix is on a total rebuild of the franchise. JC Intal and Willy Wilson still reminds the people about the Barako franchise so I expect them to be traded soon. Will they go together or one of them will be dealt much earlier?  

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters – Will Dior Lowhorn be a good fit?

Dior will bring the same body type as Pierre Henderson-Niles and more scoring punch to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. The history of Coach Yeng has taught us that the fit to his team is more important  than the talent of an import. Will Rain or Shine benefits with the superb scoring ability of Dior, or will it hurt the team?

San Miguel Beermen – Can Arwind keeps up with his younger elite teammates?
We have been spoiled by the durability of Santos in his whole career that we forget that he is already 35. In short, he is not already on his prime and it will only be a matter of time before father time forced him to be part of bench. Will it happen this conference?

Star Hotshots – Can James Yap complete a kind-of renaissance season?

James Yap is averaging more points this season than the last two seasons. He is contributing 13.3 points in 37.4% FG and 3.4 rebounds per game this season. Last conference, he was already getting his rhythm but he was hit by an injury. Can he pushed his scoring average to 14, one last time?

TNT Tropang Texters – Is Moala Tautuaa the real deal?

I was one of those who salivated to see him play in the PBA. Unfortunately, the depth of the frontline of TNT and his fit to the team has forced him to take time to learn how to play with TNT and in the PBA. 10.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 53.3% FG will not be acceptable for a 27 years old #1 pick. 

Yap, J-Wash top choices for PBA All-Star South


B-Meg Derby Ace’s James Yap and San Miguel Beer’s Jay Washington are still the strongest candidates for the South Team in this year’s PBA All-Star Game scheduled in May.

According to, Yap, PBA’s 2009-2010 Most Valuable Player (MVP) garnered the highest number of votes based on their fan balloting with 18,927.

Washington came in at second with 13,257 votes.

Behind Washington among the South starters are Talk ‘N Text’s Kelly Williams (12,636) and Meralco’s Asi Taulava (11,142).

Other players likely to make it into the South Team are Talk N Text’s Jimmy Alapag (11,043 votes), Ginebra’s Ronald Tubid (9,135 votes) and Alaska’s Cyrus Baguio (6,435 votes).

The All-Star Game will serve as the highlight of the 2011 All-Star festivities from May 18 to 23 in Boracay.

Pingris leads North
Yap’s team mate, Marc Pingris, is the fans’ top choice to lead the North Team.

Pingris received a total of 11,250 votes with Ginebra guard Mark Caguioa coming in close at 10,080 votes.

The other top candidates for the North Team are B-Meg forward Kerby Raymundo (9,666 votes), Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood (7,695 votes), Ginebra’s Rudy Hatfield (7,668 votes) and Willie Miller (5,769 votes), and Powerade’s Gary David (5,688 votes).

Reserves of both teams will be chosen by the 9 PBA head coaches.



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PBA: James Yap early leader in All-star fan balloting


As expected, James Yap emerged as the frontrunner in the early balloting for the coming 2011 PBA All-Star Game the island paradise of Boracay is hosting for the first time.

Yap, the league’s two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) from B-MEG Derby Ace, has so far received a total of 7,452 fan votes to lead all candidates comprising the rosters of both the North and South All-Star teams for the May 18-23 festivities dubbed “Hala Bola Boracay 2011 All Star Weekend.”

The former University of the East star is tops among backcourt players for the South squad. Coming in next are Talk `N Text’s Jimmy Alapag (4,338), Cyrus Baguio of Alaska (3,933), Air21’s Dondon Hontiveros (3,303) and Ronald Tubid of Barangay Ginebra (2,763).

Among the South big men (center/forwards), San Miguel’s Jay Washington leads the pack with 4,824 votes, followed by Kelly Williams of Talk `N Text (4,194), Meralco’s Asi Taulava (3,798), Ginebra’s Eric Menk (3,240) and the Alaska duo of Joe Devance (2,997) and Sonny Thoss (2,799).

Meanwhile, Yap’s Derby Ace teammate, Mark Pingris, received the highest number of votes so far among players from the North side.

The energetic forward tallied 3,807 votes to lead the list of top North big men. At second is fellow Llamado Kerby Raymundo with 3,312 and at third is Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, the 2010 All-Star MVP, with 2,988.

Likewise getting the nod of the fans are Ginebra’s JC Intal (2,466), veteran San Miguel center Danny Ildefonso (2,160) and Ginebra’s Rudy Hatfield (2,124).

The popular Ginebra combo of Mark Caguioa and Willie Miller shows the way in the guard positions with votes of 3,375 and 2,488, respectively.

Rounding out the top five among the North backcourtmen are Alaska’s L.A. Tenorio (2,016), San Miguel’s Alex Cabagnot (2,007) and Paul Artadi of Air21 (1,773).

Voting, which began last Feb. 27, is still ongoing and will only be held during game days at the PBA playing venue.

Final day of voting is on April 10.

Reserves of both teams will be chosen by the nine PBA coaches.

The rest of the participants in the other events will be named on the first week of April.

Members of Pilipinas-Smart Gilas team were not included in the voting as the Nationals are set to see action in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Champions Cup which the country is hosting.

Last year, the North All-Stars edged their Southern counterparts, 133-132, in the All-Star Game held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.


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Beermen rip Llamados, make 31st PBA finals


Derby Ace’s heart was simply no match to San Miguel’s defense and firepower. The Beermen endured a late Llamados rally down the stretch to score a 91-83 win Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum and earn a return trip to the Finals of the PBA Fiesta Cup.

Gabe Freeman, the reigning Best Import of the season-ending conference, again proved to be huge for the defending champion on both ends of the floor, coming through with 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the foul line, while grabbing 22 rebounds.

But it was the big defensive stops pulled off by Arwind Santos and Jay Washington in the waning minutes and Dondon Hontiveros’ effective shackling of James Yap that spelled the difference in the Game 6 win that allowed the league’s winningest franchise to wrap up the series, 4-2, and make it to the Fiesta Cup Finals for the second straight time.

In all, this will be the Beermen’s 31st appearance in a championship series.

They will have few precious days to rest and prepare as they await their championship opponent, which will not be known until Wednesday when Alaska and top seeded Talk `N Text dispute the remaining Finals berth in a deciding Game 7 of the other Final Four pairing.

“We’re definitely looking forward to the Finals,” said coach Siot Tanquingcen, unbeaten in all of his three appearances in the Finals, including the 2009 Fiesta Cup when he steered the Beermen to a seven-game series win over Barangay Ginebra.

The Beermen will now try to become the first team to defend a title in the last eight years since Red Bull last did the trick in the 2002 and 2003 Commissioner’s Cup.

Washington added 18 points and Santos 14 for the Beermen, who led by as many as 75-61 early in the fourth.

But with import Tony Washam taking charge, the Llamados threatened at 81-75 with 3:14 to play.

Unfortunately, the Llamados just couldn’t pull it off together this time the way they did many times in the past when their lives – and season – were on the line.

James Yap bungled it for the Llamados.

Taking the spot for Marc Pingris at the free-throw line after the Derby Ace forward was fouled hard on a flagrant foul by Joseph Yeo, Yap missed the two free throws, and then failed to capitalize in the next possession when his three-pointer came up short.

Washington, then, hit two free throws (83-75), before Washam, whose previous attempt was blocked by Santos, was whistled for an offensive foul off Washington that all but sealed the end of the Llamados’ season.

“It starts with defense for us,” Freeman stressed.

Tanquingcen added, “The glaring difference is our effort. Derby Ace is a proud champion. They’re not just going to lie down and give us the win. You have to work.”

Washington added 18 points and 13 rebounds while Santos 14 for the Beermen, winner of 18 league titles, the most in the 35-year history of the PBA.

Washam led the Llamados with 30 points, Roger Yap with 15, while James Yap 14, but was held to 6-of-16 shooting by the daunting defense of Hontiveros. – RCJ, GMANews.TV



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