James Yap relishes reunion with Tim Cone as they team up for Visayas squad in All-Star finale
James Yap and Tim Cone won five championships, including a Grand Slam in their stint together at Purefoods, before getting separated when the coach transferred to Ginebra. Jerome Ascano  

CEBU – James Yap feels at home with fellow Cebuano-speaking people in the Queen City of the South.

The Escalante, Negros Occidental pride also felt at home hearing a familiar commanding voice in American accent in the Visayas team.

The PBA superstar relished his reunion with coach Tim Cone being part of the Visayas selection that’s set to give Gilas Pilipinas a worthy competition in the All-Star week finale on Sunday night at Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.

“Na-miss ko siya and na-miss ko yung boses niya sa pagturo sa amin kanina,” Yap said in an interview with News5’s Lyn Olavario after the Visayas team’s practice in the morning of the game.

“Enjoyin lang yung time na ‘to na magkasama kami sa All-Star,” the Rain or Shine gunner added.

The popular player-coach tandem won five championships, including a Grand Slam in their stint together at Purefoods, before getting separated when Cone transferred to Ginebra.

“I truly miss James because he’s such a nice guy,” Cone said. “He’s such an easy guy to coach. He follows instructions and he doesn’t have a superstar mentality at all, so it’s always a thrill to be around him.”

“If we were not coach and player, we’d probably be good friends, even though I’m much older, we’d be good friends,” he added. “We mesh well together.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos