PBA: Lots of work for James Yap to get to ‘game shape’

Published September 21, 2020, 1:58 PM

by Waylon Galvez

james yap
It will take time for Rain or Shine superstar James Yap to get back in ‘game shape’ as PBA action is set to resume in Clark, Pampanga next month under a bubble concept. (PBA, File)

Despite being in great condition, it’s a long way to go for Rain or Shine superstar James Yap to get his true form and be in game shape for the PBA restart on Oct. 9 in Clark, Pampanga.

The two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) had his first practice session with the team Monday, and he found out there are lots of catching up to do as his body tries to adjust now that he is back to work.

“Kung 1-10… siguro nasa 5 lang,” Yap said laughing in a phone interview with Manila Bulletin.

“In terms of game shape, yes 5. Sabi ko nga maski na nagpa-condition naman and ginawa lahat to stay in shape, iba yung ensayo ka talaga in preparation sa balik PBA. Kumbaga talagang kalawang.”

READ: Concerned about injuries, James Yap sees ‘gradual’ return to form

The 38-year-old Yap was in Milano Marittima, Italy with fiancée Michela Cazzola, their son Michael James and daughter Francesca Michelle for three months since June.

Yap came back last Sept. 4 and upon his arrival, he had a swab test for COVID-19, which came out negative but had to complete a 14-day quarantine protocol, which is being implemented by the government.

READ: Talk about in-flight safety from virus. James Yap wears brand new motorcycle helmet on way home from Italy. Take a look.

He had a second swab test late last week, which also turned negative. It was the final hurdle before he earned the green light to resume training with the Elasto Painters.

Yap, a member of the 40 Greatest Players in the PBA, said it would only take a few weeks to get to the level where he is ready for the PBA, which initially started last March 8 before games and practice sessions were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Ilang weeks lang naman, tuloy tuloy lang sa ensayo. Mababalik naman natin yung game shape. Saka ako, sa akin kasi yung game shape sa laro na nakukuha yun,” said Yap, who was with Mark Borboran and Sidney Onwubere during training at the Reyes gym in Mandaluyong City.

“From 5, maka-8 ako sa start ng PBA, doon ko na hahabulin sa ‘bubble’ yung kundisyon ko na makuha yung game shape. Pero masaya na nakabalik na ako sa ensayo ng team.”

READ: Take a look at where your PBA stars will be staying starting Sept. 26

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine deputy team manager Jireh Ibanes said that Fil-Am playmaker Kris Rosales will also be joining the cluster of Borboran, Onwubere and Yap for the 8-9 a.m. practice session.

Rosales recently completed his 14-day quarantine and had two negative swab test results following his return from the United States.

“Kris will be joining the team tomorrow since he already got his swab results,” Ibanes said in a text message.