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Info, background, and analysis on James Yap’s returns to the PBA

Jan 9, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Yap is set to return with a long awaited conference  deal with Rain or Shine. The “Big Game” is ready to return to the hardcourt after a three-conference sabbatical after striking a one-conference deal with Rain or Shine, the team said on Friday, Jan. 6. 

The two-time league MVP was seeking a one-year deal from the Elasto Painters, but Yap, who is also a councilor for the city of San Juan, chose the shorter deal. 

On Facebook, Rain or Shine announced that “Big Game is returning for more.” 

James Yap will participate in the 2018 Governor’s Cup after officially reuniting with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Although he had the option of signing for just one conference, James was handed a one-year contract. Yap has stated that he will try to balance playing basketball and volunteering,” it continued.

In 2021, at the Bacolor venue, Yap took part in the Philippine Cup semi-bubble. He’ll probably impart his experience and counsel to the younger Rain or Shine team there as a true member of the crew for the 2023 Governors’ Cup. 

The team adds veterans Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, and Jewel Ponferrada to the young guns Rey Nambatac, Gian Mamuyac, Andrei Caracut, Santi Santillan, Anton Asistio, Mike Nieto, and Shaun Ildefonso. 

Yap will also be reunited with Yeng Guiao, a member of whose Gilas Pilipinas team she last competed for in 2018 while receiving support from Rain or Shine, at the Asian Games.

The 40-year-old star has been working out and sporadically attending Elasto Painters practices ever since he first announced his intention to make a comeback early in the season. 

After finishing in the quarterfinals of the midseason conference, Rain or Shine is looking to snap a five-year postseason streak in the season-ending conference.

Rundown on James Yap’s Basketball Career

The Philippine Basketball Association’s Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants and the Philippine national team both employ James Carlos Yap, Sr., a professional basketball player from the Philippines.

Yap’s uncle, Emmanuel Yap, was the first to notice his talent in basketball. He started out playing for Bacolod Tay Tung High School in the early 1990s before switching to Iloilo Commercial Central High School. He was granted the opportunity to seek a basketball scholarship at the University of the East after finishing high school in Iloilo. He participated in the Philippine Basketball League for the ICTSI-La Salle Archers squad in 2001 while also going to class and representing his university. The UE Red Warriors made it to the championship round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines basketball tournament in 2002. His team won the Collegiate Champions League the same year.

Yap led the Red Warriors to the final four for the second time in the 67th UAAP season and was voted Most Valuable Player. He participated in the Southeast Asian Games for the Philippines in 2003 among other UAAP and PBL athletes.

Backtrack on Yap’s leave in 2021

James Yap, a former PBA MVP, is running for San Juan municipal council, and Rain or Shine is entirely behind him. In a statement, Mamerto Mondragon claimed that Elasto Painters Attorney General Yap is able to completely concentrate on the run-up to the 2022 National Elections. 

Yap finally missed the Painters’ campaign in the following Reinforced Conference after missing a total of around three conferences. 

The two-time MVP ran for office on the Francis Zamora campaign, together with his former coworkers Don Allado and Paul Artadi.

Yap played five games for the Elasto Painters in the most recent Philippine Cup, averaging 7.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 16 minutes per game. It was his final time playing on a hardcourt.

What could come out of this comeback

For fans of both ROS and Yap, there is but a lot to look forward to. Though not all is positive, as much as James’ return has been long anticipated. Analysts factor in a necessary reconditioning for the star athlete. Three seasons missed in quite a long time. James Yap has a lot on his hands. The PBA however missed this one.

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