James Yap ready for record 18th PBA All-Star appearance

James Yap ready for record 18th PBA All-Star appearance

/ 05:20 AM March 24, 2024

James Yap PBA Philippine Cup.

James Yap debuts with Blackwater Bossing in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

BACOLOD CITY—James Yap returned to his old stomping grounds on Friday, looking to make the most out of a milestone he never thought he was going to notch.

Yap, now 42, is set to play his 18th All-Star Game this Sunday, making the two-time league Most Valuable Player the lone player to have logged that many appearances in the midseason exhibition.

“I feel so blessed because I never expected my career to stretch this long. This is all God’s handiwork and the fans, too, as they are the ones who vote players to join the All-Star (Game),” he told reporters shortly after dinner Friday night.


READ: PBA: James Yap joins Blackwater Bossing 

“I’m excited. This is my 18th (All-Star) week and it’s going to happen in the place I grew up in, where I studied high school,” he added.

Yap was born in Escalante City, which is a little over two hours away from Bacolod, where he flourished as a student-athlete. He played for Bacolod Tay Tung High School before transferring to Iloilo Central Commercial, his final stop before moving on to University of the East for college.

Now playing for Blackwater, Yap was included in the PBA delegation as the “Bacolod vote.”


READ: PBA: James Yap opens his Blackwater era with a victory

Aside from backstopping Mark Barroca’s squad in the main event, the veteran gunner also competed in the 3-Point Shootout for guards that was eventually ruled by Calvin Oftana.

“Each one of them is memorable,” Yap said when asked about one edition of the All-Star Week that stands out for him. “But this one will be even more because this is the province I grew up in.”


“My mindset is just to give joy to the fans, the supporters of the PBA,” he added.

With his athletic prime long past, Yap knows that he is in the twilight years of his PBA career. So count on “Big Game James” to put on a show—perhaps showing the remains of the skills that earned him the tag “Man of a Million Moves” when the main draw at University of St. La Salle tips off at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday.

“We don’t know if this would be my last. It will still depend if people still want to see me in the All-Star (festivities) next year. But we’ll see,” he said with a sheepish grin.

“I’ll just enjoy the moment.”

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Yap is expected to wear jersey No. 18 in the contest and start for Team Barroca, which looks to deny a Japeth Aguilar-skippered crew its second-straight win in the All-Star Showdown.

TAGS: James Yap, PBA All-Star Game

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