PBA ALL-STAR: James Yap excited for mini Purefoods reunion for South team
Paul Lintag on Mar 30, 2019 02:12 PM
With two league MVPs, a handful of championships, and a Grand Slam season, James Yap as the Purefoods star not only served as the face of the franchise but as the face of the PBA as well. (PBA)
CALASIAO, Pangasinan — Even if James Yap is now with Rain or Shine and is already a thriving Elasto Painter, he will always be associated with the Purefoods franchise.
With two league MVPs, a handful of championships, and a Grand Slam season, James Yap as the Purefoods star not only served as the face of the franchise but as the face of the PBA as well.
James has since moved on and found success with his new Rain or Shine crew but almost three years after a blockbuster trade got him out of Purefoods, Yap makes a return of sorts Sunday for the 2019 PBA All-Star game here in Pangasinan.
In what has become an annual tradition, Yap will start for the South All-Stars in the main game Sunday. Starting alongside James in the South’s backcourt is Mark Barroca.
Also in the South All-Stars are PJ Simon, Jio Jalalon, and legends Alvin Patrimonio and Jerry Codinera.
“Syempre excited ako,” Yap said when asked about the Purefoods reunion.
“Hindi ko naabutan si Jerry pero si Cap [Patrimonio] excited ako dahil naabutan ko siya nung rookie year ko. Yun yung mga kumbaga, tinitingala ko rin and mga idol ko bago ako pumasok sa PBA,” he added.
It only seems a matter of time when all five players share the court Sunday.
Rain or Shine mentor Caloy Garcia, Yap’s current coach and the one handling the South All-Stars, wants to make the reunion official on court.
“Excited ako, sabi nga ni coach Caloy, ‘oh sige papalaruin ko kayong limang Purefoods ah. Sabay kayo,’” Yap said.
After the 2016 trade that landed him in Rain or Shine, Yap didn’t think that he’d once again have the chance to play for the franchise he called home.
While it’s not an actual return to Purefoods, the opportunity to play with four big names associated to his former team is the closest thing for a comeback.
“Hindi ko na naisip yun, nag magkaroon ulit ng ganitong [chance],” Yap said.
“Pero dumating itong time na to so syempre excited na ako. Yung samahan namin dati sobang solid, kaya sobrang blessed na magsa-sama ulit kami. Sobrang sarap ng feeling,” he added.
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