James Yap will have a new role when he suits up for Rain or Shine in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup on 5 November.
Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao said he wants the two-time Most Valuable Player to serve as a mentor who can help in developing their young players inside and outside the court.
Guiao said Yap’s main assignment is to harness the skills of Sherwin Concepcion, a former University of Santo Tomas gunner whom they took in the third round of the recent Annual Rookie Draft.
“Yes, it’s logical for him to mentor Sherwin since they play similar positions and both of them love taking three-point shots,” Guiao said, seeing a lot of similarities between the 41-year-old Yap and the 26-year-old Concepcion.
Despite his stellar credentials after lighting up the scoreboard for the Growling Tigers in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, Concepcion has yet to formally strike a deal with the Elasto Painters as he has yet to secure a release from Nueva Ecija in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
The Rice Vanguards, after all, are still in the thick of its playoff battle with the Pasay Voyagers.
Guiao believes that Concepcion is already a solid player but with Yap, one of the league’s greatest shooters of all time, guiding him, he could even develop into an elite scorer.
Meanwhile, the Elasto Painters beat Meralco, 94-81, in a friendly duel that was part of the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City recently.
Both teams played with an
all-Filipino roster while Meralco rested key players like Chris Newsome, Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge.
“We decided not to risk DaJuan Summers’ slight calf strain since we know that Meralco is playing without an import,” said Guiao, who banked on the 16-point, 12-rebound explosion of Santi Santillan.
“But this game shouldn’t serve as a gauge as Meralco played without its key players like — Chris Newsome, Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge.”