Feb 19, 2021

Garcia counts on Yap to lead E-Painters this season

RAIN or Shine has tinkered with its roster over the past two seasons to improve for the future.

The team invested on young players Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon, who effectively fit into ROS' system in so short a time to earn the trust of coach Caloy Garcia and a spot in the team's starting lineup.

Then there are old reliables in Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood, the only two remaining members of the Elasto Painters' two championship teams.

And last but not the least, two-time most valuable player James Yap, acknowledged as the face of the franchise.

Garcia have seen the transition of the team over the past three seasons and he believes Yap is still a significant piece but the team will have to manage his health condition.

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"The best way for James to be effective is to manage his health condition," Garcia told PBA.ph. "If you keep James healthy, he can make big contributions to the team."

Yap turned 39 a few days ago, but Garcia remains confident that Yap can still make a difference.

"In fact, we made some special plays for James and even made some adjustments on how we'll run our patterns. Kaya malaki pa rin talaga ang contribution niya. The biggest factor here, of course, is the age because as players get older, you really need to manage their health condition," added Garcia.

Yap is not as effective as he used to be in the Philippine Cup bubble but Garcia said that's understandable.

"Sa bubble tournament, James had difficulty catching up to be in shape kasi nga ang tagal nating walang ensayo. Tapos he came from Italy pa so when he returned, he had to be quarantined for two more weeks. And maigsi lang yung tournament and halos everyday yung mga laro kaya nahirapan rin siya makuha yung game shape niya," added Garcia.

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"This time, mas nakapag-prepare si James. He works hard in practice. So we expect him to play better this season kasi he appears to be in better condition now," Garcia said. (RJ)