Big Game James is back

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Rey Joble

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Old players like James Yap has great games left in them and he had proven this in Rain or Shine’s first game of the season against the NLEX Road Warriors.

The two-time Most Valuable Player finished with 20 points built around four triples and the man known as Big Game James gave us a glimpse of things to come.

His head coach, Caloy Garcia, kinda expected that from Yap, his long-time player ever since the latter was an amateur standout. Now at the twilight of his career, the future Hall of Famer is ready to give it a go and resume his role as his team’s top gun.

Garcia had seen it prior to the start of the season. He was able to see a different Yap, healthier, more mobile and more determined to prove himself. He has played well in tune up games, a tribute to his readiness to compete back on a big time stage.

Even in the latter stretch of last season, Yap had provided some vintage moments, even winning the games for the Elasto Painters, including one in the playoffs against Barangay Ginebra where he nailed a game-winning triple.

He appeared to get his second wind after various injuries, part of the reason why he was chosen by Philippine men’s basketball team coach Yeng Guiao to play for the Asian Games in August last year.

This season, Yap is back in tip-top form and we saw a player who displayed variety of moves in knocking down every basket. Indeed, Big Game James is back and he has assumed his role as Rain or Shine’s franchise player.

Yap will have to do it for the next three years as he plans to wind down his career with the Elasto Painters.

Garcia said Yap has still a lot left on his tank and part of the reason why the player saw 30 minutes in their first win of the season. He’ll be even playing more once opportunity is presented to him, according to the amiable mentor.

People who had written off Yap will have to rephrase what they’ve published recently. Those who are throwing dirt on his face would have to apologize.

This is James Yap, one of the all-time best players ever to play in the PBA.


Rey Joble is a member of the PBA Press Corps and Philippine Sportswriters Association.