LIKE most of us, James Yap is excited to see the Philippines play once again in the world basketball championships.
But that does not mean the 31-year-old pride of Escalante, Negros Occidental pride is longing to play for the Gilas Pilipinas team bound for Spain next year, even if an offer will be on hand.
“Mahirap sagutin yun kung makikipag-agawan pa ko sa pwesto. Kaya kung kukunin ako, sasabihin ko mag-isip sila ng mabuti kasi kawawa naman 'yung nagtrabaho,” Yap said.
“Alam naman nating lahat ang naging sakripisyo ng mga members ng Gilas, kaya kung ako lang ayaw ko nang makigulo pa dun,” added Yap, who has twice played for the national team in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games and 2009 Fiba-Asia Championships.
Yap was part of Gilas coach Chot Reyes’ wish list, but San Miguel’s strict compliance to the ‘at least one player per team' policy forced Gilas to settle for Marc Pingris from San Mig Coffee.
“Naimbitahan talaga ako dun, pero nagkataon na hindi ako 100 percent noon. Di ba nagka-back injury ako. Kung pipilitin ko baka maging worse,” said the two-time PBA MVP.
“Naisip ko na kasi nun na mahirap ang training ng Gilas, twice a day yun, tapos may out of the country pa. Sabi ko baka maging liability pa nila ko,” Yap added.
“Inisip ko na marami pa naman pwede sa PBA. And happy ako kasi nakapili naman sila ng mga deserving na players … Ang galing nga nila!”
Asked if he is willing to step in should injuries open up spots in the team, Yap was still non-committal.
“Ibang usapan na yun. Kung may ganung bagay, hindi natin masasabi,” he said. “Pero syempre 'yun ang ipanalangin natin, walang ma-injure sa kanila.”