Chan excited to partner with rival Yap in Rain or Shine
Rivals for so long, Jeff Chan and James Yap will finally play alongside each other this season in Rain or Shine.
And the long time Elasto Painters gunner is welcoming the team’s new acquisition with open arms.
“Excited ako kasi first of all, two-time MVP yan eh,” he said.
Chan shared that he and Yap go way back ever since their high school days in Negros Occidental.
“Magkalaban kami sa mga tournaments eh. Sya sa Ilo-ilo, ako naman sa Bacolod,” he shared.
“Di kami nanalo sa kanila kasi malakas sila at mahilig mag-recruit yung team nila. Kami naman puro taga-Bacolod lang ang players.”
With Yap already making a name for himself that early, Chan said that he has kept tabs on the legend-in-the-making, watching the soon-to-be University of the East star practice with veterans in the old Negros Slashers team at La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod whenever he gets the free time.
But when he got to Far Eastern University in the UAAP, the tables turned for Chan, owning Yap’s number as the Tamaraws outlasted the Red Warriors numerous times.
“Nananalo kami noon kasi kumpleto kami sa FEU. Lahat ng spot namin solid,” he said.
The two Negrenses continued going at it in the pros, with Chan’s Rain or Shine and Yap’s Purefoods franchises butting heads and facing off three times in the Finals.
But everything is in the past now as Chan and Yap find themselves as comrades, aching to help the Elasto Painters fare in the post-Yeng Guiao era this 2017 season.
“Gusto ko sana ipakita na kahit same position kami, magki-click kami sa system ni coach Caloy (Garcia). Gusto namin ipakita na kaya namin maglaro na magkasama, na kahit magkapareho kami ng posisyon, di kami magkalaban,” he said.
The partnership that was only seen before in All-Star Games is now a reality, and Chan is confident that Yap can rekindle his old form in Rain or Shine.
“Kung healthy sya, marami pa syang mapapahirapan na kalaban,” he said. “I think gusto nya i-prove na sya pa rin yung James Yap na face of the PBA.”
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