MANILA, Philippines – B-MEG Derby Ace Llamados superstar James Yap is ready to hit the hard court again for the upcoming 36th PBA Season next month.
The 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference Most Valuable Player (MVP) said he will to return to practice on Monday after his two-week vacation in the United States.
Yap was joined in the US by teammates KG Canaleta and Rico Maierhofer. They arrived on Sunday from Los Angeles, California.
Yap related that his US vacation was breather after his grueling PBA season, plus the collapse of his 5-year marriage to actress-TV host Kris Aquino.
Canaleta earlier told ABS-CBN News that they decided to take a break because of the planned return of the three-conference format next season.
“Baka ito na ‘yung last break namin. Baka mag-3 conference na next season,” he said.
PBA Commissioner Chito Salud confirmed that the league will have 3 conferences again, an all-Filipino conference and 2 import-reinforced tournaments.
“The stats show the gates suffer in a long elimination round. In a long elims, there are those non-bearing games that are not attractive to the fans. We’ll try to remove that,” Salud said in a PBA.com.ph report.
Salud explained the PBA’s shift to the old three-conference format would maintain the leagues commercial viability by giving fans exciting games.
B-MEG lineup changed
Meanwhile, Yap’s former University of the East (UE) Red Warriors teammate Paul Artadi is now his former Derby Ace teammate.
Artadi was traded for Jonas Villanueva of San Miguel Beer (SMB).
Rene Pardo, the current PBA Board chair from Derby Ace, commented that it was a win-win trade for both squads which are sister teams under San Miguel Corporation.
“Kailangan ng San Miguel ng quickness. Kami okay lang pakawalan si Paul dahil meron pa kaming Chris Timberlake,” he told PBA.com.ph.
SMB and B-MEG completed the deal with Air21 Express as the third party.
Air21, meantime, got B-MEG’s 2014 first round selection in exchange for their 2013 2nd round pick. – With reports from Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News and PBA.com.ph