JAMES Yap insisted he has plenty left in the tank as he tries to fit into a Rain or Shine squad that’s in transition.
Coming off arguably his worst season as a pro, the 34-year-old cager believes his stunning trade from Star to the Elasto Painters is a good time for him to rejuvenate his career as he enters his 13th year in the PBA.
“I know myself,” Yap said after his first RoS practice on Monday morning. “Ganoon naman ang basketball, ‘di laging nasa taas ka. Minsan, mababa din ang laro mo. But I'm still good, I feel good, and ganoon lang ang basketball, pa-kundisyon, bounce back lang. Wag magpabaya.”
The two-time MVP has a lot of ground to cover after a season where he averaged career lows in points (11.6), steals (.21), blocks (.07), and minutes (26.8); and second lowest in rebounding at 2.9 boards per game.
But the longtime Purefoods star would rather look ahead than look back on a woeful campaign.
“Wag na isipin ang past, pero kailangan may matutunan ka doon,” Yap said. “So titingnan ko kung ano yung kulang, yung nga di ko nagawa nung bumaba ang laro ko at yun ang kailangan kong higitan pa.”
Yap said he is at Rain or Shine to follow the coaches' orders and, if told, defer to young E-Painters stars Jericho Cruz and Maverick Ahanmisi.
“Ready ako,” Yap said. “Ako yung isang player na nakikinig sa pinapagawa ng coach. Kung sino man maging coach ko, ‘di mahihirapan na i-handle ako. Nirerespeto ko ang diskarte ng coach. I-share ko rin yung experience ko sa mga batang teammates as a veteran din. Ipaintindi ko yun sa nga bata.”
“Excited ako at excited rin ang management kasi kumbaga reunion,” added the former Welcoat star whose career comes full circle. “Twelve years din, matagal ako nawala, dito rin ang bagsak ko.”