EMBROILED in another public dispute with ex-wife Kris Aquino, San Mig Coffee superstar James Yap on Thursday assured his team and its fans that personal problems will never affect his performance on the court.
A day after crying in front of television cameras trying to defend himself from fresh allegations made by his estranged wife, the two-time PBA MVP insisted he won't let the issue get in the way of his game.
“Huwag silang mag-aalala sa akin. Kaya nga PBA player ako, professional akong player,” Yap, sounding more upbeat when he granted Spin.ph an interview on Thursday.
On the day reports of the court case first came out, Yap struggled with 17 points on 6-of-19 shooting in San Mig's 82-87 loss to Air21, raising fears from fans that he was distracted by events in his personal life.
Yap, though, was quick to ease those fears.
“Basta’t may problema ako, iniiwan ko lang yun sa bahay. Hinding hindi ko iyon dinadala sa laro, practice man o actual game,” said Yap a few minutes after San Mig's practice at the Ronac gym in Greenhills.
The soft-spoken Escalante, Negros Occidental native said he is used to dealing with such problems, pointing out that he even won a league MVP award at the height of his marital problems with Aquino.
“Sanay na ako sa ganito. Talagang tinatatagan ko na lang ang loob ko,” the 6-3 guard said.
“Saka tinitignan ko na lang na sa tuwing may problema, mas lumalakas ako. Yung last time nga nag second MVP pa ako, di ba?” he added.
The San Mig star also said he is grateful for the support he is getting from fans on social media sites. A hashtag #StayStrongJamesYap has already accumulated countless numbers of tweets and retweets from fans and fellow players.
“Kahit mabigat ang loob ko sa mga nangyayari everytime may pagsubok sa buhay ko, talagang sinisikap ko na magpakatatag," he said. "Wala naman akong ibang pwedeng gawin, kaya natutuwa ako sa mga message ng fans."