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PBA: ‘Free’ yoga lessons for Rain or Shine superstar James Yap in Italy

Recognized as a PBA player, ROS gunner has yoga fees waived off
In this file phot, Rain or Shine superstar James Yap works out at a local weights gym in Milano Marittima, Italy. (Photo from James Yap’s Instagram account @jamesyap18)

Rain or Shine superstar James Yap has added ‘yoga’ to his training routine in Milano Marittima, Italy as he prepares for the return of PBA practice.

Yap said yoga, a type of physical, mental and spiritual discipline which originated in ancient India, isn’t exactly new to him since he had sessions before while with the Purefoods franchise under coach Tim Cone.

“Naka-experience naman na ako before paano mag-yoga, kaya alam ko na malaki ang maitutulong nito sa conditioning ko,” Yap told Manila Bulletin late Saturday in a telephone interview.

“Matagal walang laro, so importante na tama ang stretching, tama ang training, malaking bagay na meron ako naidagdag sa ginagawa ko dito bukod sa takbo sa trail and gym, saka nakakapag-shooting na ako sa park,” added the former PBA two-time MVP.

Yap said it was only by chance that he was able to join a ‘yoga’ session.

The 6-foot-2 shooting guard said he was done with his shooting drills at the park when he noticed a group of locals xoing ‘yoga’ and he tried to follow every step and movement.

After the session, he approached the group and inquired. That was when somebody recognized him.

“Nung nagtanong ako, nagulat ako may nakakilala sa akin, ang tanong nga kung basketball player ako. Sabi ko ‘oo’… yun ang kuwento niya, may pamangkin daw siya na may magazine or book about basketball,” said Yap.

“Ang cover pa nga daw si LeBron James, tapos sa second or third page, may picture ako na nakita niya dun kaya namukhaan ako. Eto ang nakakatawa, the following day nung nag-join na talaga ako sa session nila at I asked how much, sabi no need to pay.”

“In short na-libre pa ako sa ‘yoga’ session ko. Nakikita ko yung iba nagbabayad sa pinaka-instructor. But since nag-start ako, nakaka-tatlo na ako, tinatanong ko pa din pero libre daw,” said Yap laughing.

Yap is with his family in the province of Ravenna, about three hours away from Rome. He and partner Michela, their kids Michael James and Francesca Michelle arrived in Italy in early June.

With the PBA teams expected to resume practice sessions this week, Yap said scheduling a flight back home is now his priority and he already has communicated with Raymund Yu, who co-owns ROS with Terry Que.

“Nakapag-usap na kami ni boss, and ang sabi ko nga inaayos ko na din yung flight details ko. Basta ang sabi niya need ko na makabalik kasi nga babalik na sa ensayo,” said Yap.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the PBA only had its opening for the 45th season and a game between San Miguel Beer and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok last March 8.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial cancelled all the games and practice sessions following the government’s call of community quarantine to control the spread of COVID-19.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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