James Yap is set to sign a new deal on Friday, formalizing his return to Rain or Shine for the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
In an interview with Daily Tribune, Yap made the confirmation, saying that he is pumped up and excited to return to the Elasto Painters for the season-ending conference.
Already a legend in the PBA, Yap has missed three conferences as he assumed a more challenging role as a public servant in San Juan City.
But Yap figured things out and adjusted his schedule to make time for his return to action, which would be his first stint under seven-time champion coach Yeng Guiao.
“I know Coach Yeng (Guiao) likes my game as proof of my involvement with the national teams in the past when he was my coach,” Yap said during their training session Thursday at the Acropolis Gym in Libis, Quezon City.
“I don’t want to let him down, that’s why I’ve been working so hard in practice.”
Rain or Shine’s head of basketball operations Caloy Garcia said Yap has been religiously attending the team’s workouts since they resumed training on 16 December last year.
Once a potent offensive threat, Yap is now embracing the role as floor leader and he is willing to take the backseat for the team’s up and coming stars like Rey Nambatac, rookie Gian Mamuyac and third year player Leonard Santillan, Andrei Caracut and Anton Asistio among others.
“I’m very excited for this coming conference as I’ll be given an opportunity to play,” Yap, who averaged 7.9 points in his previous tour of duty in the 2021 Philippine Cup, added.
“I’m hoping to make a contribution that’s why I’m keeping myself in good shape.”
“I’ve been away for about a year or three conferences. Our rookies, sophomores, they’re very talented. I’m here to support them.”