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James Yap bids farewell to ROS

James Yap is leaving Rain Or Shine after eight years with them. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--James Yap is leaving Rain Or Shine.

The prolific shooting guard announced on Monday that he has decided not to renew his contract with the Welcoat franchise after eight years with them in the PBA.

"After much prayer and reflection, I have decided to end my journey as an ElastoPainter. I have truly appreciated all those who have supported me during this time and thank you for making me part of your family for [eight] years," Yap said in a statement over Instagram.

According to Yap, he sought a release from the Elasto Painters camp, which they granted, effectively making him an unrestricted free agent.

I also want to extend my gratitude to the team’s management for graciously approving my request for release and allowing me to move forward to begin the next chapter in my life. I will always be grateful for this team [Rain Or Shine] for all the memories, and for the lessons we went through together," Yap continued.

Yap joined Rain Or Shine PBA-wise in 2016 after Magnolia, then known as Star, traded him there for Paul Lee in a blockbuster straight-up swap that stunned the league's fans back then.

Yap, though, already had ties with the Elasto Painters since 2004 when they were still in the PBL, building up a mini-rivalry with then Fash star PJ Simon which eventually became a 1-2 scoring punch at the Magnolia franchise when they entered the PBA that same year.

"From his early days with Welcoat in the PBL to becoming an integral part of the Rain or Shine family in the PBA, James Yap has left an indelible mark on our franchise. We look forward to the legacy you will continue to build in the next games of your life. A million thanks is not enough to express our gratitude," ROS said in a statement minutes after Yap's announcement.

Questions began to surface about Yap's future with the Elasto Painters and even his playing career in general when he only got to play sparingly for them in the past two years, especially when he won as a San Juan City councilor in the 2022 elections.

Yap signed a one-conference deal to stay with ROS for the soon-to-conclude PBA Commissioner's Cup, but he only got to play for three games  

Yap kept mum about his future plans in a previous interview, but prevalent rumors include playing for another PBA team, joining another league, and the possibility of calling it a career at age 41.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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