PBA Philippine Cup

James Yap not demanding long minutes in Blackwater: ‘Just let me play’

Delfin Dioquino

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James Yap not demanding long minutes in Blackwater: ‘Just let me play’

VETERAN. James Yap in action for the Blackwater Bossing in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Playing for a historically struggling Blackwater franchise, James Yap aims to influence the team with his winning pedigree, being a seven-time PBA champion and a Grand Slam winner

RIZAL, Philippines – Gone are the days when James Yap used to have access to heavy minutes, but that is no longer a concern for the two-time MVP as long as he gets to play.

That is a chance Yap is enjoying in Blackwater as he helped his new team open the PBA Philippine Cup on a winning note after a hard-earned 96-93 victory over Meralco at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Wednesday, February 28.

Fielded for nearly 13 minutes by head coach Jeff Cariaso, Yap finished with 5 points and 1 rebound in his debut for the Bossing.

“I told coach that I’ll always be ready. He assured me that he’ll use me. It’s not like I’m demanding long minutes, like 40 minutes. I’m not. Just let me play,” said Yap in a mix of Filipino and English.

Yap signed with Blackwater after securing his release from Rain or Shine at the end of the season-opening Commissioner’s Cup, drawing the curtains on a seven-season run with the Elasto Painters.

His exit from Rain or Shine came at a time when Yap saw a major decline in his playing time as he suited up in just three games last conference.

“It’s hard when you keep on practicing but you’re not able to show the things that you’ve been practicing in games,” said Yap.

Yap added he got approached by his supporters – some even from the provinces – who came to watch him play only to witness him ride the bench.

“Every time I play, it’s for the fans. I want to make the fans happy. That’s always my mindset,” said Yap.

As Yap plays for a historically struggling franchise which finished at the bottom in two of the last three conferences, he aims to influence the team with his winning pedigree, being a seven-time champion and a Grand Slam winner.

For the four-time Finals MVP, the first goal is to reach the semifinals – a feat that the Bossing have yet to accomplish.

“If you want to make a name in the PBA, if you want to create a good reputation in the PBA, you have to make the semis and the finals. The other teams will respect us if we reach the finals and the semifinals,” said Yap.

“Teams only become popular and gain respect if they make the semis and the finals,” Yap added. “The fans will remember if you win a championship, if you reach the semis.”

A promising start for Yap and Blackwater, but obviously, a long way to go. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.