MANILA, Philippines – Whether James Yap will return for an 18th PBA season remains in the balance, but he is certain of one thing: he can still play.
The two-time league MVP said he is fit enough to give his storied PBA career another go after he and Rain or Shine wrapped up their campaign in the Governors’ Cup.
“I can say that I’m healthy this conference,” said Yap in a mix of Filipino and English following their 129-116 loss to San Miguel on Friday, March 17.
Yap missed three entire conferences as he took a leave of absence from the Elasto Painters to pursue his political aspirations, winning as councilor in the 1st District of San Juan City.
Signing a one-conference deal, Yap showed he can still contribute, averaging 5.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10 games this Governors’ Cup, albeit in a forgettable run that saw Rain or Shine bow out early with a 2-9 card.
Despite being the oldest in the team, the 41-year-old said he feels better now compared to the time he played in the 2021 Philippine Cup, his last conference before his hiatus.
“All I can say is I have better conditioning now than when I was in the bubble. I’m healthier and I feel lighter,” said Yap.
While Yap left the contract talks up to the Elasto Painters management, he offered a hint on his future, which will be decided in the coming months before the next season kicks off in October.
“See you next conference,” he said. – Rappler.com
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