James Yap happy to see Manny Pacquiao fulfill his childhood dream of playing in PBA
Manny Pacquiao joins KIA during the traditional parade of teams with wife Jinkee as muse. Jerome Ascano

BOCAUE, Bulacan - Purefoods Star Hotshots veteran James Yap said he is happy to see boxing hero Manny Pacquiao fulfill his childhood dream of playing in the pro league.

Yap recalled that as early as eight years ago when he crossed paths with Pacquiao in a private function, the global superstar had already shared to him his desire to play in the PBA.

“Dati pa naman si Manny Pacquiao nakausap ko na mga eight years ago,” recalled two-time MVP Yap. “Sobrang sikat niya na at sabi niya sa akin, 'Sana nag-PBA na lang ako.'

"Pero sabi ko, 'Kung nag-PBA ka, di ganun karami pera mo,'” he added smiling.

Although basketball purists scorn the idea of Pacquiao playing in the PBA, Yap said pro players in general are excited to play with the eight-division world champion.

“I’m sure happy siya natupad din pangarap niya maglaro sa PBA. And excited kaming lahat na mga players na makita siya maglaro,” said the 32-year-old Purefoods star forward.

Pacquiao, currently one of the richest athletes in the world, was one of the most applauded figures during the traditional parade of teams where he was joined by wife Jinkee as KIA’s muse.

Fans later mobbed Pacquiao at the Arena’s hallway leading to KIA’s dugout, but the Filipino boxing icon’s private security staff quickly whisked him away from the crowd.

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