By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Negrense guard James Yap is set to join the Blackwater Bossing less than a month after being granted a release by his former team, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
The Negros Occidental’s Escalante City-native has chosen the Diocelso Sy-owned franchise after reportedly gaining interest from at least three PBA teams.
In a recent interview, Sy confirmed that Blackwater has already tendered an offer to the two-time PBA MVP as the team believes that he can still play at a high level at the age of 41.
“James may be ageing and a bit slow, but I can still see him better than other players pa rin,” Sy said in an interview with sports insider Snow Badua recently.
“He’s on a different level, and his experience can help our youngsters to be like him, or at least close to what he can do and has achieved,” the Blackwater owner added.
Sy further said that Bossing head coach Jeffrey Cariaso is willing to give Yap lengthy minutes as they hope to recover from their last place finish in the 2023-2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“He can play 15 minutes or more for us, as long as kaya niya. And knowing how James values conditioning and keeping himself fit, I am sure he can be an asset offensively for us,” Sy said.
Yap was rarely used by Painters head coach Yeng Guiao in his final conference with the squad as he logged averages of five points and one rebound in 9.74 minutes in three games played.
With the Bossing, Yap could also potentially reunite with Blackwater assistant coach Jean Marc Pingris, his long-time teammate during their time with the Purefoods franchise.
Sy said there is a possibility for Pingris to return to active duty as he is still in game shape, playing for the Biñan Tatak Gel team in the Pilipinas Super League President’s Cup./ASC, WDJ