PBA: Rain or Shine star James Yap ready to return as practice resumes

Published July 5, 2020, 4:39 PM

by Waylon Galvez

After a month of jogging routine, Yap hits the gym in Italy
james yap italy workout
Rain or Shine forward James Yap takes a breather as he works out at a gym in Milano Marittima, Italy. (Photo courtesy of James Yap)

Rain or Shine superstar James Yap has started lifting weights the past week, just in time that the PBA is resuming team practice after getting go signal from the Inter-Agency Task Force.

The 6-foot-2 Yap said it was the first time for him to go to the gym since arriving in Milano Marittima, Italy.

“Nakapag-buhat din finally, puro kasi ako takbo for almost a month,” Yap told Manila Bulletin. “Timing na din kasi makakabalik na nga ang teams sa pagensayo, so pagbalik ko Manila nasa kundisyon.”

The IATF approved the return of both pro basketball and football via team practice, as recommended by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB), sparking talks of an eventual restart of the 45th PBA season.

Yap, a two-time PBA MVP, said he is ready to return to practice with the rest of the Elasto Painters as soon as he gets the first flight back home.

“Ready naman ako. Actually now nagpahanap na ako sa travel agent ko ng flight pabalik ng Manila… yung iba kasi kinacancel yung flight. Pero may makukuha naman ako pabalik before mag-resume ensayo,” said Yap.

Last June 1, Yap and Italian partner Michela left for Italy with their kids Michael James and Francesca Michelle, who turned two last June 26, because of “family matters.”

Yap said he is returning home first, and then his family would follow a few weeks later.

“Alam naman na noon pa na mauna ako uuwi sa kanila pag pinayagan na mag-practice,” said Yap. “Siyempre mami-miss ko sila, pero trabaho ‘to e, talagang uuwi ako ngayong balik na ang PBA.”

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said last Saturday that he will be meeting with board representatives this week to finalize guidelines, including practice schedules on different training venues.

The league chief is also meeting the coaches and team managers on Friday.

Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia said there is no exact date yet on their return to practice since that would all depend on the board, and the discussion of coaches as to when to restart.

As for now, Garcia said they are looking for a training venue.

“Actually we’re training at the Reyes Gym (in Mandaluyong City) before the lockdown. We’re considering that as our venue but we need to find out first kung kami lang ba ang gagamit ng gym,” said Garcia.

“Under the health protocol kasi ng PBA is kailangan sanitized ang gym, so kung ipapa-sanitize namin ang gym tapos baka naman mamaya may gagamit na iba, hindi naman pwede na ganun.”