Purefoods top gun James Yap, enduring a sore back in the recent KFC PBA Philippine Cup finals, intends to rest for four more days before starting a rehabilitation procedure to get back in top shape and be ready for their Fiesta Conference grind starting April.
Also with a polyp problem giving him little discomfort in breathing, Yap wants this cured too, but he is willing to wait the end of the season before undergoing surgery.
“I don’t want to miss a single game because I want to help my team achieve what it wants to accomplish in the season,” said Yap.
The Giants are now looking forward to score a season sweep after winning the Philippine Cup championship, beating the Alaska Milk Aces in four straight games in their title showdown.
Winning both the Best Player of the Conference honors and the Finals MVP plum has also put Yap in good position to earn a second season MVP award, but Yap insists foremost in his mind is to help his team achieve its goal.
“Who wouldn’t want individual awards? I love that. But I’ll be happier if my teammates are also happy. We win championship and we’ll all be happy. I know the individual award will come as your team starts winning,” Yap explained.
Yap, the 2006 MVP winner, said he’s suffering a recurring back injury as he has a minor scoliosis problem.
“Hindi naman grabe ang scoliosis ko, but it also gives me some discomfort,” he said.
Former Purefoods and Talk n Text physical therapist Roy Lazaro, who’s now with Summit Center, is among those attending Yap with his back problem.
Yap, however, stressed his ready to endure pain, upbeat they can have a good shot at a double-championship in the season.
Crispa, San Miguel and Alaska Milk are three teams which have scored a season sweep (three crowns) in the long history of the league but none has achieved the feat since Alaska pulled off its triple championship in 1996.
Meanwhile, Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio said they’re not yet decided whom to field as import in the Fiesta Conference.
“Since we’re in the thick of the fight for the championship, I focused my mind on it, and the task of searching import prospects went to Boss Cap (team manager Alvin Patrimonio). He has yet to give us the names as we’re still enjoying our short break,” said Gregorio.
“We resume practice on the 22nd. Our import choice will join us two or three days later,” Gregorio added.