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Tiebreaker Times

With big guns back, Purefoods upbeat of championship aspirations

James Yap has returned, and what better way to make a comeback than to see him making the big shots that helped snap Purefoods Star’s three-game losing skein.

“He was Big Game tonight. He stepped up big and hit the big baskets when we needed them the most,” said Hotshots import Denzel Bowles, who was thrilled to see Yap, Maliksi and PJ Simon all playing on Sunday’s all-import game against San Miguel Beer.

“I love these group of guys, these players around me.”

Yap had to bring his A-game against the Beermen.

“Tatlong sunod na talo na kami, kapag natalo pa kami medyo malalaglag yata kami sa No. 9. Yun yung pagkakaalam namin kaya big game talaga ito sa amin,” added Yap.

But Yap was Big Game on Sunday.

He had two triples in overtime, had a daredevil dive to the basket and setup Marc Pingris for a short stab that clinched the win for the Hotshots, who lost a 17-point lead before regaining their lost bearings in overtime.

Maliksi returned after taking a leave of absence to attend to his ailing father. He scored four points and played quality minutes to give additional firepower to the Hotshots.

Simon, on the other hand, is still having trouble with nagging back spasms, but he contributed nine points on 10 minutes of limited playing time.

With the big guns back in the line up, Simon played more comfortably doing his role to provide scoring off the bench.

“Malalim ang bench namin ngayon kasi kumpleto kami. Ang strength naman namin talaga bukod sa depth yung health,” added Simon.

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