JAMES Yap is determined to keep himself in top shape and away from injuries following the decision of Rain or Shine to rebuild with a young core for the 2020 season of the PBA.
The 37-year-old Yap said he is preparing his body for the long haul after 2019 saw the 16-year veteran hampered by a groin injury late in the season.
Yap said he is motivated to get back to full fitness and stay healthy, so he can keepup with his younger teammates as ROS gears up for a run-and-gun game.
“Siguro more on running kami ngayon dahil maraming mga bata,” said Yap. “Excited na ako. Sana healthy lang ako lagi para kahit papaano, makasabay sa kanila.”
Yap said he is supportive with the move of the Elastopainters to get younger following the signing of rookies Adrian Wong, Clint Doliguez, Vince Tolentino, and Prince Rivero.
He also sees a lot of potential with their rookies, who are now joined by fellow young turks Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon.
“Nakita ko sa mga rookies namin, akala mo hindi mga rookies. Ang gagagling at ang bibilis. Kung titignan mo, parang beterano na maglaro. Sana makatulong sila sa team at makapag-adjust sila agad sa sistema,” said Yap.
Yap missed seven of the 11 games of the Elastopainters during the Governors’ Cup due to the groin injury. But the former PBA MVP said he is noe fully healthy, and looks forward to contributing for the Elastopainters in the 2020 season.
“So far, so good. Healthy pa naman. Kinausap ko si coach na, ‘Coach, kapag may nararamdaman ako na medyo hindi maganda, excuse na muna ako ah.’ Sabi niya, wala namang problema. Thankful ako kay coach na understanding siya,” said Yap.
Aside from diligently attending practices, Yap said he is also strengthening his body in preparation for another grind during the season.
“Last conference, hindi ako masyadong nakapaglaro dahil na-injured ako sa groin. Ngayon, ‘yun ang pinapalakas ko. Lahat ng parts ng body ko, pinapalakas ko. Kailangan maka-sustain ako,” Yap said.