MANILA, Philippines – James Yap is no stranger to winning a championship. After all, he has a ton of it, having won 7 PBA titles under the Purefoods franchise.
But as he turns 37 on February 15, the two-time Most Valuable Player has one wish: to bag his first championship with Rain or Shine.
"Sana mag-champion kami as a Rain or Shine player naman," he told reporters after their 75-74 win over former team Magnolia in their 2019 Philippine Cup clash on Wednesday, February 13.
(I wish I can win a championship as a Rain or Shine player.)
It has been more than 4 years since Yap last captured a title, back when he helped the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers complete a rare Grand Slam by ruling the 2014 Governors' Cup.
Since he was traded to the Elasto Painters in 2016, though, the sweet-shooting guard has never reached the finals again.
But with a resurgence in his game and Rain or Shine boasting a league-best 7-1 record, Yap's wish just might come to fruition should they maintain their fiery form.
"Ito 'yung isa sa mga magandang gift: 7-1, No. 1 kami ngayon and magbe-birthday," he said.
(This is one of the best gifts I received: we're up 7-1, we're No. 1 and it's almost my birthday.)
Although now in the twilight of his career, Yap assured he still has plenty of gas left in the tank, proven by averaging a team-best 14.8 points on a 40% shooting this conference.
"Okay pa naman. Kayang kayang kaya pa naman. Alaga lang sa katawan."
(I'm okay. I can still play. I just need to take care of my body.) – Rappler.com
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.