Philippine basketball

James Yap returns to the PBA, signs one-conference deal with Rain or Shine

JR Isaga

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James Yap returns to the PBA, signs one-conference deal with Rain or Shine

HIATUS. James Yap has missed two PBA conferences since taking a leave of absence from Rain or Shine.

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James Yap, one of the PBA's most decorated players and recognizable faces amid an 18-year career, returns as an active player but promises to balance his duties as a San Juan City councilor

MANILA, Philippines – Former PBA superstar James Yap heads back to the PBA after signing a one-conference deal with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, the team announced on Friday, January 6.

The seven-time champion and two-time league MVP has been away from the game for over a year as he took a leave of absence from the league after battling nagging injuries and serving his constituents as a San Juan City councilor under current mayor and former basketball player Francis Zamora.

According to the team, Yap was offered a one-year deal, but the 16-time All-Star only opted to a one conference contract for the upcoming Governors’ Cup, and said he “will do his best to balance basketball and public service.”

Still one of the league’s most recognizable faces after an 18-year career, the pride of Bacolod last played in the 2021 Philippine Cup, where he averaged a decent 7.9 points on 43% shooting and 2.0 rebounds in 17.0 minutes per game.

Heading to the Governors’ Cup, Yap will be surrounded by fellow veterans like Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, and Rey Nambatac, while young guns like Santi Santillan, Mike Nieto, and Anton Asistio round out head coach Yeng Guiao’s core.

Rain or Shine recently snuck into the playoffs as an eighth seed in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup before getting blown out in its lone postseason game by eventual finalist and guest team Bay Area Dragons, 126-96.


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