A FORMER teammate expects James Yap to regain his 'Big Game James' form as the Star gunner steps out of the triangle offense of Tim Cone and into a more free-flowing offense under new coach Jason Webb.
Roger Yap said the two-time PBA MVP will have the chance to dig deep into his vast repertoire of shots outside of the triangle, a stringent offensive system Cone had used with a lot of success in his career.
Yap said he expects the Hotshots star to have more freedom to look for his shots under Webb, who has declared that he will be revamping the offense that will only retain certain aspects of the triangle.
"Mas okay kay James ang open court eh. Kaya nga siya tinawag na 'Man with A Million Moves,' kasi mas makakagalaw siya unlike dati na nakatali siya sa sistema ng triangle," said Yap, a former Purefoods first-round pick who, after a few seasons with other teams, played with the franchise from 2005 to 2012.
"Mas (magigiing) effective siya katulad ng dati. Bilang kasi galawa niya sa triangle," added Yap.
Webb said giving equal touches to players will be the main principle of his system, which he said will be anchored on more ball movement and a faster pace, similar to how he played during his PBA and college career.
"We'll run something similar to what you see internationally nowadays, but really more ball movement," he explained. "It's more like me (when I was still playing). We'll show aggressiveness, offense will be a lot of motion, equal opportunity offense.
"We have to unlearn the old system and re-learn. 'Yun ang mahirap. it will take a lot of time. Adjust ka ng kaunti, 'Uy, sanay na ko rito eh,' babaguhin mo and that's the biggest challenge," added the eloquent rookie coach.
And where does Yap fall in his plans, Webb was asked.
"James Yap, Marc Pingris all the way down to the Jerwin Gaco, this is going to be their team. and I will be their voice," said Webb, adding he prefers a leader to emerge naturally in the course of the transition.
"They're gonna have to figure that out for themselves. As the process goes along, 'yung mga ensayo, 'yung mga problema, dun naman lalabas kung sino ang leader eh," said the former TV panelist turned coach.
"As of now, alam naman na nila yung roles nila sa team eh. Everyone's always equal at Purefoods, everyone's gonna be treated the same," he added.
Roger Yap said given a chance, he has no doubt that James can still have a big impact on games.
"Sa totoo si James, hindi pa matanda 'yun. Thirty two pa lang 'yun, iyan ang peak na edad eh. Maalaga rin (siya) sa katawan," he said. "Kaya pa niya 'yan. Madami pang player na pahihirapan 'yan.
"Bigyan lang ng tamang oras at kumpiyansa 'yan, I am sure he can be as lethal as he was before."