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Yap, Nambatac banner PBA opener


The much-anticipated debut of James Yap and Rey Nambatac at Blackwater will serve as the opening salvo in the Philippine Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association on Wednesday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

In a revised schedule released by the league on Friday, the Bossing will now be facing Meralco in the first game at 4:30 p.m. while Chot Reyes will return to the bench when TNT Tropang Giga collide with Rain or Shine in the second game at 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the original games on 28 February featuring Terrafirma versus Converge in the first game and NorthPort against NLEX in the second game had been pushed to 1 March at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Blackwater will then face TNT while Rain or Shine will take on Meralco on 2 March while NLEX collides with Terrafirma and Converge battles NorthPort on 3 March also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Batangas City had also been added as an out-of-town venue after it formally agreed to host San Miguel Beer and Meralco on 4 May.

Hype surrounds the decisions of Yap and Nambatac to move to Blackwater.

After asking for release from the Elasto Painters, the 42-year-old Yap joined the Bossing on a one-year deal that formally reunited him with head coach Jeffrey Cariaso, who was part of Tim Cone’s coaching staff when he won a rare grand slam with San Mig Coffee in 2014.  

Bossing team owner Dioceldo Sy said Yap is still good to play “10 to 15 minutes” while providing a ton of veteran leadership to the squad that has yet to reach past the quarterfinals.

Nambatac also followed suit as he joined the Bossing after the Elasto Painters decided to adopt a fast-paced brand of game that perfectly suits their young players like Keith Datu, Andrei Caracut, Gian Mamuyac and Santi Santillan.

With that, Rain or Shine traded him to Blackwater in exchange for a first-round pick in 2024 and a second-round selection in 2025.

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