Yap embraces 'new beginning' with Rain or Shine | Inquirer Sports

Yap embraces ‘new beginning’ with Rain or Shine

/ 11:49 PM October 17, 2016

James Yap during Rain or Shine practice. Randolph B. Leongson/INQUIRER.net

James Yap during Rain or Shine practice. Randolph B. Leongson/INQUIRER.net

Nearing the end of his illustrious career, James Yap is betting on himself as he seeks to make a splash in the next four years.

“Sa ngayon, four years ang tinitignan ko,” he said as he contemplates what could be the tailend of his storied professional run.

“Malalaman naman natin kung kaya pa o hindi. Ngayon, kaya pa and four years, I think kaya pa rin. After nun, tignan natin.”

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But if there’s one thing going the way of the Escalante, Negros Occidental native, it’s that he’ll have a fresh start as he joins a hungry Rain or Shine crew this upcoming season.

“New beginning,” Yap quipped, as he practiced for the first time with the Elasto Painters on Monday.

Seeing career-lows in scoring and minutes played last year, the two-time league Most Valuable Player is primed for a monumental comeback next season after leaving the confines of the Purefoods franchise, a team he helped win seven titles across 12 fruitful years, following his blockbuster trade for Paul Lee last Thursday.

Though still in shock and pain after the surprise deal, Yap knows that he has no time to dwell, and would rather work his way back to form and show that he still has what it takes to be among the league’s elites.

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“Actually, I know myself. I’m still good, I feel good, and ganoon lang ang basketball, pa-kundisyon, bounce back lang, at wag magpabaya,” he said.

“Wag na lang isipin ang past pero kailangan may matutunan ka doon. Titingnan ko kung ano yung kulang, yung mga di ko nagawa nung bumaba ang laro ko at yun ang kailangan kong higitan pa.”

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Yap is also glad to reunite with the Welcoat franchise, the team he played in during his amateur days in the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL).

“Masaya din ako kasi napunta ako sa former team ko nung amateur days sa PBL, Welcoat,” he said.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Rain or Shine na kinuha pa rin nila ako at mainit ang pagtanggap nila sa akin. Hindi na rin ganoon kalaki ang adjustment sa part ko kasi nakasama ko na rin si coach Caloy (Garcia) sa Welcoat at halos lahat naman sila, kilala ko na.”

In Rain or Shine, Yap will be partnered with fellow Negrense Jeff Chan, alongside Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, and upstarts Jericho Cruz and Maverick Ahanmisi.

“Excited ako this coming season. Sana maganda ang itakbo ng team,” he said.

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“Tingnan natin. Four more years.”

TAGS: James Yap, Paul Lee, PBA, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Star Hotshots

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