PBA two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap of Rain or Shine said Tuesday that newly appointed coach Chris Gavina has introduced his game plan on the first day of practice at the Reyes Gym in Mandaluyong City.
Yap said it is expected since coaches have different perspectives.
“Kung ako tatanungin lahat naman ng mga coaches may kanya kanya na style, sistema. I’m sure meron siya na gusto gamitin din kung saan siya komportable (If you ask me all the coaches have different style, system. I’m sure he has something that he’s comfortable),” said Yap when contacted by Manila Bulletin.
This coaching philosophy of Gavina, Yap said, is constructed on drive and kick, which basically means whoever has the ball creates scoring opportunities for others by going to the hoop and passing it to an open teammate.
With former coach Caloy Garcia – now a consultant – the system was more on handoff, which allows the player with the leather to give it to a teammate and set a screen for a chance to score.
Yap said Gavina might use both systems in the coming PBA Philippine Cup to slowly but surely introduce the new system.
According to Yap, Gavina has already proved his worth before as a PBA active consultant during his stint with Terrafirma (formerly Kia/Mahindra), a team he steered to its first and so far only quarterfinal playoff stint during the 2016 Governors’ Cup.
“Nakapag-playoffs yung team nila noon, may tiwala siya sa system kaya kahit papaano nadala niya sa playoffs (They made it to the playoffs, meaning he trusts the system),” he said.
Yap said he is certain of one thing.
“Siyempre kami naman as players sunod lang kami sa coaches. Ibig sabihin, respetuhin namin, sunod and adjust kami sa kung ano ang papagawa – kahit na anong sistema pa (As players we need to follow the coaches. Meaning, we need to respect, follow and adjust on what they ask from us – whatever the system is),” said Yap.
“As a professional player we need to adapt and focus.”
During their first practice with Gavina, Yap said the young mentor asked him to always be ready and to stay healthy.
“Of course nung nag-kita kami sa ensayo, sabi ko congratulations. Then sabi niya sakin kailangan ready lang ako palagi, and stay healthy (“I congratulated him. Then he told me to just be ready and stay healthy),” he said.
The 39-year-old Yap is in his third and final year of his contract with ROS, and he is entering his 17th season in the pro league.