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James Yap delivers clear message to Elasto Painters teammates

James Yap says Rain or Shine needs to give everything it has to ensure a Top 2 spot in the playoffs. KC Cruz/ESPN5

James Yap reminded his teammates to go all out for a win when Rain or Shine faces Meralco in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Elasto Painters have lost their last two games, putting a damper on their Top 2 aspirations heading to the playoffs.

ROS enters its 7 p.m. game holding the second spot at 7-3, just behind Phoenix's 8-2 record. But Rain or Shine is only a half-game ahead of defending champion San Miguel (6-3) with TNT not far behind at 5-3.

"We need to be all out," was Yap's short but straight-forward reply to ESPN5.

The Elasto Painters, playing their last game in the elims, bowed to the KaTropa 100-92, followed by a stinging 85-82 defeat to the Columbian Dyip.

Both games saw Rain or Shine fail to capitalize on its size as the boys of coach Caloy Garcia were beaten in the second chance points department.

Yap, the two-time league MVP, said the team didn't take Columbian lightly. But now he's more focused on the task ahead.

"We need to double our effort against Meralco," said Yap, who is averaging 14.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists this conference.

A win gives ROS a shot at claiming a Top 2 finish, which dangles a twice-to-beat incentive entering the playoffs.

Rain or Shine defeated Phoenix, San Miguel and Ginebra, teams that are currently in contention for the Top 2, with TNT holding a win over ROS.

Meantime, Meralco coach Norman Black hopes the Bolts can build on their recent double-overtime win against the NorthPort Batang Pier.

"There was really a time when it was dim for us, but then we executed some plays and gave us a chance to win it in overtime," said Black, referring to Meralco's thrilling 126-123 win.

The Bolts have a lot of catching up to do as they currently occupy the 10th spot in the standings with a 3-5 record.

With three games left in the elims, Meralco needs to start winning to make it to the eight-team playoffs.