Coach Yeng Guiao sees two-time Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) James Yap contributing for Rain or Shine when the 41-year-old veteran star rejoins the team before the new season begins in October.

Guiao said the 6-foot-2 Yap begged off from joining the PBA On Tour as he wanted to concentrate on his political role as councilor of San Juan.

"James asked permission so he can concentrate on his work as councilor," Guiao told the Manila Times on Thursday.

The 17-time PBA All-Star is not included in the preseason games, although Guiao has faith in Yap that he will keep himself in good shape before the start of the 2023-24 season.

Yap's one-conference deal was done recently but is expected to resume talks with top-level management for a contract extension, Guiao said.

"They will resume talk on his contract negotiations since he can go straight and talk with our bosses," added the Rain or Shine mentor.

Rain or Shine makes its debut in the preseason PBA On Tour on Friday against NLEX, the team he handled for six years before moving back to coaching the Elasto Painters at the start of the 2022-23 Governors' Cup.

The many-time PBA champion coach intends to bring the best out of his young cast of players led by Anton Asistio, Gian Mamuyac, Shaun Ildefonso, Leonard Santillan and Andrei Caracut.

Guiao also has a solid group of veterans headed by Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, Jewel Ponferada and Rey Nambatac, along with newly-acquired forward Mac Belo whom Rain or Shine got in exchange for Norbert Torres in a straight trade with Meralco last week.

2023-05-25T13:48:57Z dg43tfdfdgfd