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James Yap

James Yap

  • Team: B-MEG Derby Ace Llamados
  • Birth date: Feb 15, 1982
  • Birth Place:
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 
  • Draft (Year): 2004 - 2nd Overall (Purefoods)
  • College / University:
    University of the East
  • Monicker/Nick: 

James Carlos Yap Sr. (born February 15, 1982), from Escalante City, Negros Occidental, is a Filipino professional basketball superstar player for the Derby Ace Llamados in the Philippine Basketball Association. Yap enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Bacolod Tay Tung High School and then at Iloilo Central Commercial High School, where he sparked his team to three consecutive Iloilo PRISAA titles. He then went on to play at the collegiate level for the UE Red Warriors and helped the team to the Final Four in 2002 after years of absence. However, the Red Warriors lost to the Blue Eagles, the eventual champions. In the following season of UAAP, Yap led the Red Warriors to the Final Four for the second straight time. Eventually in the semifinals series, the Warriors lost to the Far Eastern University Tamaraws. Nevertheless, Yap was named as the Most Valuable Player in 2003.

Yap also played for the Philippine Basketball League from 2001 to 2004. He decided to declare his eligibility for the PBA Draft, and was selected with the 2nd overall pick in the 2004 PBA Draft by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. One of the focal points of the Purefoods offense, he is the 2005-2006 and 2009-2010 season's Most Valuable Player and he is also 2009-2010 Philippine Cup Conference MVP. Yap is also a seven-time PBA South All-Star team starter through 2004 to 2010 and a many-time member of the RP Basketball Team.

Amateur career

As a child, Yap already showed athleticism playing football, baseball, and track and field until high school.[1] Growing up, he looked up to one of the most prolific players in the history of Philippine Basketball, Samboy Lim.
Yap emerged to be one of the most promising basketball stars in the Iloilo/Negros region back in the late 1990s. Early on that decade, he played for the Bacolod Tay Tung High School and made his mark.[2] He was transferred to Iloilo Central Commercial High School, displaying his skills. Manila Standard. Along the way, he sparked his team to three consecutive Iloilo PRISAA titles. It was now rumored that the Negros Slashers of the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association was going to sign Yap.[citation needed]
Instead, Yap went on to play at the collegiate level. He played for the UE Red Warriors under former national team coach Boysie Zamar.[3] In 2002, known for his quick-release shooting and all-around presence, he, alongside Paul Artadi and Ronald Tubid, brought the Red Warriors to the Final Four after years of absence. However, second seed University of the East lost to a dramatic semifinal series as they faced the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, the eventual champions. In the same year, he led UE to the first Bantay Bata Crossover Cup, exacting a sweet revenge against Ateneo in the Finals. A month after, he once again led UE to the inaugural Collegiate Champions League crown, beating FEU.
In the 66th season of UAAP,[4] Yap led the Red Warriors to the Final Four for the second straight time as he topped his teammates in points and rebounding, and closed second to Artadi in overall efficiency rating. Eventually in the semifinals series, the Warriors lost to a much more defense-orchestrated team, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws led by tactician coach Koy Banal and star player Arwind Santos. Nevertheless, Yap was named as the Most Valuable Player [5] from coaches, players, and media votes. In the same year, he, along with incourt partner Paul Artadi, was teamed up with other UAAP and PBL counterparts to lead the Philippines in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games to a gold medal finish and was eventually honored by Philippines Sportswriter Association as the best basketball player in the amateurs alongside the best player in the professional level, Asi Taulava.[6]
Yap played in the Philippine Basketball League from 2001 to 2004. In 2001, he played for the ICTSI-La Salle Archers forming a backcourt tandem with Mike Cortez that almost had their team beating the veteran-laden Shark Energy Drink in the finals. In 2002, along with Mark Cardona and Joseph Yeo, he helped put the Archers in the playoffs against the Blu Detergent Kings. In 2003, he had to sit out the whole conference after ICTSI refused to sign his release papers to make him eligible to play for Sunkist-Pampanga.[7] In 2004, Yap signed up for one conference with the Welcoat Paintmasters, teaming up with the comebacking Jojo Tangkay, leading them to a runner-up finish. He and Tangkay lost to Peter June Simon of the Fash team for the MVP plum.

PBA career

Rookie season (2004–05)

Yap entered the 2004 PBA Draft, and was selected as the second overall pick by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. Bothered by an ailing shoulder, Yap had a slow start in the 2004-05 season. Later on, he improved as he had numerous games of which he scored 20 or more points. However, the Purefoods failed to get past the quarterfinal round against the Shell Turbo Chargers. Eventually, he lost to Rich Alvarez in the Rookie of the Year race.

MVP year (2005–06)

In the 2005-06 season, the Escalante native received more playing time and began to show more of his abilities as a talented young guard. In the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference, Yap was 4th in the statistical race, behind at the end of the semifinals series, while the Giants finished 4-2 at the series conclusion. In the classification round of the Philippine Cup, he recorded 34 points against the Sta. Lucia Realtors then had a career-high 37 points to beat Barangay Ginebra Kings. Near the end of the round, he played an important role in the win against the powerhouse team Talk 'N Text.[8] The victory put the Purefoods team in a best-of-seven semifinals slot.
After the accumulation of player statistics at the end of the semis, Yap edged out teammate Kerby Raymundo and Red Bulls' Enrico Villanueva for the Philippine Basketball Association Most Valuable Player award. This made him, at 24 years of age, the fifth youngest player, and second sophomore to have won the individual award. He was the statistical leader and garnered more than 7000 combined votes from players, the 4-man committee, and the media, almost 5000 votes ahead of the rest of the candidates.[7] Yap was the first Purefoods player since Alvin Patrimonio to win the MVP award. He was also named to the Mythical First Team alongside teammates Raymundo and Roger Yap, and on-court rivals Enrico Villanueva and Lordy Tugade.

Conferences disappointments (2006–09)

Yap defending Air21's Wynne Arboleda
Yap played in 41 games during the 2006-07 season. He averaged 19.7 points, 1.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 0.6 steals per game. On June 1, 2007, Yap scored a career-high 41 points in a 109-97 win over the Welcoat Paints, leading Purefoods to a spot in the wildcard phase of the 2007 PBA Fiesta Conference playoffs.[9] He scored six of the Giants' 11 3-pointers.[9] In the following game against the Coca Cola Tigers, the Escalante native recorded 40 points as Purefoods lost 100-97, thus being eliminated from the Conference. Despite failing to deliver the win for his team, Yap's efforts equaled former PBA player Nelson Asaytono's record of scoring 40+ points in back-to-back games.

Yap shooting a free throw
On July 9, 2008, during a game against Talk N' Text at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, Yap got involved in an altercation between teammate Jondan Salvador and TNT import Terrence Leather. The episode happened in the fourth and last quarter of the game, after Salvador and Leather got involved in a physical play. Apparently Leather was not pleased by the contact, and after exchanging a few words with Salvador he threw him the ball. Yap reacted during the confrontation between the two players and kicked Leather in the legs. The American player chased Yap, who run away following the kick, but was pacified by his teammates and game officials. The 2005-2006 MVP apologized to basketball fans following the incident, saying that he gave a bad example.[10]
In the 2007-2008 season, Yap averaged 21.3 points, 1.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks per game.
During the 2009 PBA All-Star Weekend at the Araneta Coliseum, Yap scored 21 points to defeat San Miguel Beermen guard Dondon Hontiveros and Burger King Whoppers guard Gary David in the Three-Point Shootout contest.[11]

Second MVP award (2009–10)

The 2009-10 Philippine Cup started on October 11, 2009. Purefoods finished third in the elimination round with a 12–6 record, outlasted the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the quarterfinals in five games, and defeated the #2 seed and sister team San Miguel Beermen in six games after trailing the series 1–2. In the Finals, Purefoods swept Alaska, 4-0, to be crowned 2009-2010 PBA Philippine Cup champions.[12] During their series against the Aces in the finals, Yap scored 24, 32, 14, and 18 points respectively. For leading his team to this incredible feat, Yap was named Best Player of the Conference (BPC),[13] as well as Finals MVP. He also won his second MVP award, for the 2009-2010 PBA season.[14]
During the 2009-10 season, Yap was selected to his 7th All-Star Game appearance. Starting the 2010 Fiesta Conference, the team changed its name from Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants to B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados. The end of the season, however, marked the departure of coach Ryan Gregorio, who left the Llamados after seven years and signed a deal with PBA returnee Meralco Bolts. Gregorio was succeeded by his assistant and multi-titled Philippine Basketball League coach Jorge Gallent.[15]

2010–11 season

With Yap's contract expiring in September 2010, Derby Ace offered him a three-year deal with an option for the player to extend it for another two years once the second season of the new deal ends.[16][17] A few weeks before the beginning of the 2010-11 season, it was announced that Yap would be re-signing with B-Meg.[17] The Llamados entered the 2010-11 PBA Philippine Cup as defending champions.[18] In the first round of the tournament, the former University of the East standout averaged 15.1 points per game, while the team ended the Classification Phase with a record of 7-7. The two-time MVP and Peter June Simon led the team to the quarter-finals,[19] in which B-Meg scored back-to-back wins against the Meralco Bolts.[20] For the series, Yap averaged 22.0 points, as the Llamados defeated Meralco in two games. Following this series, the Llamados found themselves on a collision course with the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in the semifinals. In a losing effort in Game 1 (B-Meg lost 91-98), Yap was able to record a personal conference-high of 36 points.[21] Yap suffered breathing difficulties and struggled with his shooting in Game 2,[22] scoring 13 points in 31 minutes, but still played a main role and came up with a game-winning steal in the final seconds of the last quarter that gave B-Meg a 88-87 victory.[22][23] The Tropang Texters won Game 3, but the defending champions tied the series 2-2 in Game 4 with a 98-93 win, despite a late rally by TNT in the fourth quarter.[24] Talk N' Text would eventually defeat the Llamados in Game 5 (97-83) and Game 6 (89-72), thus eliminating the defending champions from the tournament.[25][26]
The 2011 PBA Commissioner's Cup, the second conference of the season, began of February 18, 2011. After compiling a 0-2 record in the first 2 games of the elimination round, the Llamados broke their losing streak with a 121-92 win against the Air21 Express.[27] In the following game against the Barangay Ginebra Kings on March 6, Yap recorded 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as B-Meg won 89-96; it was Yap's first double-double since the 2006 Philippine Cup.[28] The two-time MVP was also named Player of the Week from February 28 to March 6.[29] On March 13, 2011, Yap injured his calf in a 91-97 loss against the Alaska Aces. He missed the following four games of the elimination round against Meralco,[30] Smart Gilas, San Miguel and Talk N' Text.

Personal life

He is the son of Carlos and Annie Yap. Yap was married to ABS-CBN host-actress Kris Aquino, the daughter of slain former senator, Benigno Aquino, Jr. and the late former President Corazon Aquino. Kris is also the sister of the incumbent President of the Philippines Benigno Cojuangco Aquino III. Yap and Kris Aquino's relationship was rumored as early as 2005 before they acknowledged this on various interviews. By 2006, both have admitted to having tied the knot as early as mid 2005; the actual date of their marriage was July 10 under civil rites kept unknown to the public.

His marriage with Aquino was rocked by the revelation of a former receptionist from a beauty clinic that she had a relationship with James,[32] which he vehemently denied in an interview with Korina Sanchez.[33]

This eventually led to Kris asking for "space" with the star cager. James denied the receptionist's allegations in a press statement. The issue has since died down after Kris' pregnancy was revealed.

On April 19, 2007 his first son with Kris was born. James Aquino Yap, Jr. (Baby James) was born in the Makati Medical Center, Makati City at 5:08 pm local time and weighing 4.3 lbs. He was baptized on May 19, 2007 at Don Bosco Church in Makati, with 10 godparents.

As of June 26, 2010, Kris Aquino announced that she had separated from Yap, citing personal reasons.[34]
[edit] Individual Honors

* 2003 UAAP Mythical First Team
* 2003 UAAP Most Valuable Player
* 2003 PBL Mythical First Team
* 2003 PSA Player of the Year (amateur basketball)
* 2004 PBL Mythical First Team
* 2006 PBA Mythical First Team
* 2006 PBA Most Valuable Player
* 2006 PSA Player of the Year (pro basketball)
* 2008 PBA Three point shootout Champion
* 2010 PBA Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference (BPC)
* 2010 PBA Philippine Cup Finals MVP
* 2010 PBA Mythical First Team
* 2010 PBA Most Valuable Player
* 2010 PSA Player of the Year (pro basketball)

[edit] Team Achievements

* 2002-2003 Collegiate Champions League, Champions
* 2003 Southeast Asian Games, Gold Medalists
* 2004 Philippine Basketball League, First-runners up
* 2005-2006 PBA Fiesta Conference, First-runners up
* 2005-2006 PBA Philippine Cup, Champions
* 2007-2008 PBA Philippine Cup, First-runners up
* 2009 Powerade-Team Pilipinas, 8th Southeast Asian Basketball Association Men’s Champions
* 2009-2010 PBA Philippine Cup, Champions

[edit] Other Monickers

* Boy Thunder
* King James
* Hari Ng Big Shots, Hari Ng Big Games
* Big Game James
* The Man with a Million Moves (as quoted by Mico Halili)
* Mr. MVP

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