Excited Yap joins ROS practice
It was a gloomy Thursday, a day before the anticipated Game 4 of the PBA Governor’s Cup Finals between Ginebra and Meralco, when the blockbuster James Yap-Paul Lee trade was publicized and stunned the whole nation.
Days later, basketball fans remained dumbfounded. But for seven-time PBA champion Yap, parting ways with his 12-year team Star Hotshots is just the beginning of something great.
Just today, Yap shared his first photo with his new teammates from Rain or Shine via his instagram account @jamesyap18.
In his post, the two-time league MVP was overwhelmed with the warm welcome from his new squad.
“First pic with ROS Boys. Exciting tong parating na conference! Thank you guys sa pag welcome ninyo Sa akin. #ROSBasketball #New Beginnings #NewTeam #ThisTeam#ROSfamily,” Yap captioned.
Newly minted PBA Most Improved Player Jericho Cruz likewise posted a practice photo with the veteran small forward on his instagram handle @jerichoxcruz, saying “First day of practice with the idol @jamesyap18!
Yap has been averaging 11.6 points per game before leaving the Hotshots off a blockbuster trade with Lee, who will now offer his services to the former’s team.
Last year, his four-year mentor Tim Cone departed the Star to serve as the new head coach of the Gin Kings. Yap and Cone led the way for the franchise’s Grand Slam championship in 2014.
Yap’s addition to Rain or Shine will not only provide good numbers for the offense of Elasto Painters. He has a huge loyal fan base in the league, a crucial factor especially in the playoffs.
Flaunting a mixed of sophomore and veteran cagers in the upcoming All-Filipino conference, comebacking coach Caloy Garcia will bank on Yap’s experience, not only in actual games but also in practices.
The team has four young guns in Cruz, Maverick Ahanmisi, Jeric Teng and Don Trollano. Yap can provide his knowledge in improving their shooting and basketball smarts.
Rain or Shine recently traded JR Quiñahan and acquired big man Jay Washington, which makes their frontcourt more lethal with Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga and Raymond Almazan doing the damages down low.
The 34-year-old Yap will soon return in the PBA wearing a new jersey, hoping to win more championships before ending his celebrated basketball career.
A photo posted by Jericho Xavier Cruz (@jerichoxcruz) on