James Yap on Iloilo All-Star homecoming
The veteran Rain or Shine star looks forward to playing in the season-ending showcase to be held in Iloilo, where Yap actually spent a part of his teenage years studying at the Iloilo Central Commercial High School.
“Doon ako nag-aral. So lahat ng mga kaibigan ko excited. Matagal na akong hindi nakapasyal ng Iloilo. Meron akong mga schoolmates sa Passi,” the 41-year-old Yap noted.
The two-time MVP arrived here Saturday afternoon, checked-in briefly at the hotel, and then went straight to the practice of Team Scottie at the Iloilo Sports Complex.
“Ok lang naman kahit walang pahinga. Masaya ito for sure,” said Yap.
The 41-year-old shooting guard will be in his 17th All-Star, the special showcase which he hasn’t missed in his entire playing career.
And what makes this one an even memorable event for him was the fact he spent his early teenage life going to school in Iloilo.
Born in Escalante, Negros Occidental, Yap initially played for Bacolod Tay Tung High School, before later transferring to the Iloilo Central Commercial High School, considered the second oldest Chinese school in the entire country.
It was there where his legend grew that soon after, colleges and universities in Metro Manila began to scout him in the hopes of having him play for them, the bragging rights eventually belonging to University of the East.
In his homecoming, Yap was also grateful for the fans who voted him to be part of the showcase despite missing more than half of the league’s 46th season due to injury and his commitment as an elected councilor of San Juan City.
He didn’t return to Rain or Shine until the ongoing Governors Cup.
“Nagulat ako kasi hindi ko to ini-expect. One year man tayong nawala, pero yung mga fans nandiyan pa rin sila. Kaya excited ako,” said Yap.
Incidentally, in the All-Star voting held in Passi, Yap was the consensus no. 1 in fans balloting followed by Magnolia forward Calvin Abueva.