After Purefoods‘ semi-finals exit at the hands of the red-hot Jayson Castro and the rest of Talk ‘N Text, there have been rumors that the Hotshots would venture into a trade with Manny Pacquiao‘s KIA Carnival. In order to beef up their line-up even more, Purefoods was said to be willing to part ways with two of their young guards in Alex Mallari and Justin Melton in exchange for KIA’s 2nd pick in the 2015 PBA Draft (That could end up being Bobby Ray Parks, Jr.). However, the supposed deal was shut down right away by KIA Team Manager Eric Pineda saying for that trade to happen, Purefoods must be willing to ship no less than “Big Game” James Yap to the Carnival.
And that was the point where Purefoods’ fans went into a frenzy. Trading the so-called “Man with a Million Moves” isn’t considered an option for most fans of the storied franchise. But for me personally, as a fan of James Yap, it kinda excited me. But just a little bit. Maybe because of the fact that once he suits up for a young franchise like KIA, we’ll see the James Yap of old, where the offense centered on him (Just like his days with Coach Ryan Gregorio) most of the time; unlike in Coach Tim Cone’s Triangle now where it’s all about finding the best option.
But then again, in the words of Purefoods’ Governor Rene Pardo, James Yap is “non-negotiable” in any trade deal not only with KIA but for the rest of teams in the PBA as well.
“(Trading) James Yap is non-negotiable. He has been the face of the PBA and of the franchise since Alvin Patrimonio retired, so trading him requires a discussion from everybody including the team owner.” – Rene Pardo, Purefoods’ Governor (via Spin.ph)
There it goes. Purefoods’ fans can relax and breath now. If we take Mr. Pardo’s word for it, James Yap would be with Purefoods until the end of his career. That’s a guarantee. But for those still having doubts on this, maybe the list of reasons below could assure you that “Big Game” James Yap is indeed “Purefoods for Life”.
Why Purefoods SHOULDN’T trade James Yap
It’s a given fact that James Yap is a very important piece in Coach Tim Cone’s Triangle Offense. As a matter of fact, 8 out of the top 10 line-ups (minimum playing time 10 minutes) being used often by Coach Tim (in this year’s Commissioner’s Cup at the very least) features James Yap. Only Joe Devance (because he’s a walking mismatch for other teams) has more appearances (9/10).
For this year’s Commissioner’s Cup, the line-ups that are on the floor for at least 10 minutes, only 5 produced a positive net rating for the Hotshots. And guess what, James Yap is a part of 4 out of those 5 line-ups.
But then, others would probably say that maybe these numbers are mainly because of the other players in the line-up he’s a part of. To address this issue, let’s take a look into James Yap’s On/Off court effect for the Hotshots (this Commissioner’s Cup).
Looking at the stats, James Yap has a positive effect on his team when he’s on the floor in almost all statistical categories, the exception being the 3-point shot (He’s been really struggling from deep as of late). Because of this, he has a net positive on-court rating of +15.1, good for 3rd place over-all in the league, only behind Yancy De Ocampo of TNT (+16.0) and Paul Lee of Rain or Shine (+17.5).
Although he’s not that consistent in putting up numbers night-in and night-out, at the end of the day, he still has a positive impact on Purefoods whenever he’s out there on the floor, enough of a reason, I should say, for the Hotshots not to think of trading the guy.
Why Purefoods WOULDN’T trade James Yap
HE’S PUREFOODS’ SUPERSTAR HOTSHOT
James Yap has already been in the PBA for more than a decade now. With his long list of achievements in the PBA, no one can question that James Yap is a bonafide PBA Superstar. His most notable career achievements include:
- 2x PBA MVP (2005-2006, 2009-2010)
- 1x PBA Best Player of the Conference (2009-2010 Philippine Cup)
- 4x PBA Finals MVP ( 2013-2014 Gov Cup, 2013-2014 Comm Cup, 2011-2012 Comm Cup, 2009-2010 Phil Cup)
- 7x PBA CHAMPION
From everything on the list above, what really stood out was the number of championships he’s already had with the Purefoods franchise. If I’m a team owner, I wouldn’t want to trade somebody who has given me numerous titles, including a Grand Slam season at that. Whatever uniform James Yap plays (Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants/Purefoods Chunkee Giants/B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados/B-Meg Llamados/San Mig Coffee Mixers/San Mig Super Coffee Mixers/Purefoods Star Hotshots), he’ll always be Purefoods’ superstar. And that’s already another great reason why Purefoods won’t let go of him. You can compare him to Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers. Many people may say that he’s already past his prime and all that but the Lakers would never trade away Kobe.
Why Purefoods COULDN’T trade James Yap
PBA IS A BUSINESS
James Yap, ever since he arrived in the PBA as the 2nd over-all pick in 2004, has been the face of the Purefoods’ franchise since the departure/retirement of “Captain Lionheart”, Alvin Patrimonio. It’s undeniable right now that the torch has already been passed from Patrimonio to Yap. Aside from being the MVP for Purefoods in their respective eras, what set them apart from the rest of their teammates is one important thing that team owners look for in their players (aside from hoop skills, of course), a thing called marketing value. That’s a very important thing for any team in this league as the PBA in itself is a business.
And for Purefoods, do you think they would trade away their marquee superstar? Someone that has helped and is continuing to do so, draw interest in their company and their products as well? I guess not. I believe James Yap’s marketing value right now is on the upswing as he has endorsements left and right that includes a wide range of products (e.g. Inasal – Chicken Deli, Sports Apparel – Toby’s, Gadgets – ZTE). Aside from his endorsements, the magnitude of his fan base is undeniable. Not to mention, he has showbiz ties as well.
I don’t think Purefoods’ would be foolish enough to let go of such a prized asset in James Yap at this point in time at the very least. Also, because of these facts, I can’t really blame KIA for trying to acquire James Yap in their team. Who wouldn’t want both Yap and Pacquiao on their team anyway?
Featured Image Credit: Jerome Ascano, Spin.ph; Pranz Kaeno Billones, Sports 5; Glenn Michael Tan, PhilippineSports.net; Marc Cristino, Pinoy Exchange (Edited by: MI.NI)