WHO would be there and lend support to James Yap in his Rain or Shine comeback in the PBA?
It’s no less than his family from the local government of San Juan.
From Mayor Francis Zamora to former teammate and fellow councilor Paul Artadi, just about every top officials of the San Juan LGU were at the Philsports Arena on Sunday to watch the 40-year-old Yap in his first game back in the league after an almost two-year absence.
Although the Elasto Painters lost by a mile, 105-87, against the Meralco Bolts at the start of the season-ending Governors' Cup, Yap gave them something to cheer about.
In one stretch during the second quarter, Yap turned back the hands of time and scored 12 points, capped by a long buzzer-beating trey to end the first half that knotted the count at 54.
The dramatic shot to end the first half created a buzz at ringside, so much so that Mayor Zamora and Co. failed to contain their emotions and had a selfie with Yap before the veteran guard proceeded to the Rain or Shine dugout.
Despite the loss, Yap felt grateful for the personal support extended to him by his San Juan family.
“Thank you sa kanilang lahat. Lahat ng colleague ko sa council, si Vice Mayor (Warren Villa), (Mayor) Francis (Zamora). Lahat sila very supportive. I’m very happy. Salamat sa lahat ng sumusuporta, naniniwala,” said Yap, who won as first district councilor of San Juan last year.
“Para sa kanila ito. Hindi nga lang maganda ang resulta, pero babawi tayo.”
It was Yap’s first game back since the 2021 Philippine Cup in Bacolor,Pampanga.
A strained calf injury and last year’s national elections kept him out of action for the Elasto Painters until he decided to make a comeback in the season-ending meet where he was signed to a one conference contract by the same franchise where he played during his amateur days.