By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters gunner James Yap denied that the upcoming 2022-2023 PBA Governors’ Cup is his last conference as a professional basketball player.
According to Negros Occidental’s Escalante City-native Yap, it was his choice to just sign a one-conference contract with the Painters, but it does not mean that he is retiring from the sport soon.
“Ang ino-offer sa akin ng Rain or Shine ay one-year contract, pero one-conference muna para mai-balanse ko ang pagiging konsehal ng San Juan,” Yap said in an interview with The Athletes’ Tribune.
“Walang usapang ganun [retirement]. Ang napagkasunduan namin [ng Rain or Shine nung nag-leave ako] na papayagan nila ako tumakbo sa San Juan pero babalik ako sa team,” he added.
The two-time PBA MVP winner was beyond grateful to the Elasto Painters management for their understanding of his desire to run in the last elections as he hopes to pay it forward to the team in the upcoming conference.
“Very grateful ako at very understanding sila. I’m sure lahat ng constituents ko sa San Juan, happy sila. During the campaign, sinasabi nila sa akin na makita pa ako sa hard court,” Yap said.
“Matagal ako nawala. So nasa stage, nagpapa-kundisyon ako,” he said.
“Dito sa conference na ito ko mafe-feel kung kaya ko. Kailangan i-balance talaga so crucial ang unang pagbabalik ko. Tingin ko, kaya naman,” he added.
The 40-year-old Yap managed 14 points, with 12 coming in the second quarter alone, in his PBA return after almost a year, in Governors’ Cup last Sunday, January 22, but the Painters were dealt with a 105-87 beating by the Meralco Bolts.
“Sana makatulong ako sa team this conference. We have good import tingin ko and nakita ko mga [local] players namin very talented. Malayo mararating ng team na ito this conference,” Yap said.
“I am also excited to be coached by coach Yeng kasi wala siyang kinakatakutan kahit sino at basta trabaho ka lang dito. Now na bumalik siya, may chance kami na mag-bonding talaga,” he added./ASC, WDJ