James Yap Returns to the PBA: One-Conference Deal with Rain or Shine
After a three-conference sabbatical, Philippine basketball legend James Yap is ready to return to the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association). His return was announced alongside the revelation that he had signed a one-conference agreement with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, formally revealed on Friday, January 6.
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The Elasto Painters first offered Yap a one-year deal to keep the two-time league MVP on board for more time. The “Big Game,” also a councilor for the city of San Juan, chose a shorter commitment, emphasizing his devotion to public service.
Rain or Shine joyously proclaimed on Facebook, “Big Game is back for more.” “James Yap is officially back with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and will play in the upcoming Governor’s Cup,” the team added. James was given a one-year contract but chose to sign for only one conference. Yap promises to “do his best to balance basketball and public service.”
James Yap last played in the PBA in the 2021 Philippine Cup, which was held in the semi-bubble environment of Bacolor. He is preparing to join the squad for the 2023 Governors’ Cup when his experience and leadership will be invaluable to a young Rain or Shine lineup.
The seven-time PBA champion will join a team that includes young stars Rey Nambatac, Gian Mamuyac, Andrei Caracut, Santi Santillan, Anton Asistio, Mike Nieto, and Shaun Ildefonso, as well as veteran mainstays Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, and Jewel Ponferrada.
While these additions give San Miguel hope, the future of Ichie Altamirano, the 57th overall pick, still needs to be discovered since it has yet to be announced whether he has concluded his contract with the organization.
On the other hand, San Miguel chose not to issue offers to numerous players, including Jayson Apolonio, Jayvee Dela Cruz, Jamel Ramos, and JBoy Gob, indicating a cautious stance as they form their team for the 2018 season. The movements highlight San Miguel’s intelligent decisions as they prepare for the thrilling PBA competition.
James Yap, 40, has been tirelessly preparing for his return to the league, engaging in exercises and occasionally accompanying the Elasto Painters in practice sessions since stating his wish to return earlier in the season.
Rain or Shine, fresh off a quarterfinal appearance in the mid-season conference, is hungry to erase a five-year postseason skid in the Governors’ Cup. With the return of James Yap, the squad hopes to bring its A-game and improve its prospects in the forthcoming tournament.
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