MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) superstar James Yap ran away with his 2nd Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in his professional career on Wednesday, besting 7 other nominees.
The 6-foot-3 shooting guard, whose marriage to Kris Aquino was on the rocks again during the current season, led the B-Meg Derby Ace to the Fiesta Cup semis.
He was emotional when he received the MVP honor for the 2009-2010 PBA season at the awarding ceremonies at the Big Dome.
“Alam naman natin ang pinagdaan ko sa personal kong buhay, talagang nagpapa-thank you ako kay God at binigyan niya ako ng strength and focus every game,” said Yap.
Yap, also the 2005-2006 PBA season MVP, thanked his numerous supporters, the B-Meg management, his team mates and his manager for their unwavering support.
He dedicated the win to the person he loves the most.
“Gusto kong ide-dicate itong award na ito sa pinaka-special na tao sa buhay ko, walang iba kundi ang anak ko, si Baby James. Para sa iyo ito. I love you, miss na miss na kita,” he said.
Aquino announced last month that she would seek to annul her marriage to the basketball star.
Yap, however, said he would do everything to save his marriage.
"As I said, I will fight to save our marriage. Gagawin ko ang lahat para ma-save ang marriage namin at mabuo uli ang family namin," he said in an earlier interview with ABS-CBN.
Credits former coach
Yap also thanked outgoing B-Meg coach Ryan Gregorio for developing him into the player he is today.
Gregorio has joined Manila Electric. Co. (Meralco), which is fielding a team in the next PBA season.
“Siyempre kay Coach Ryan na alam nating hindi ko na magiging coach next conference. Pero talagang siya yung nagtitiwala sa akin para mabigyan ng break. Siya ang gumawa ng James Yap,” said Yap.
The B-Meg superstar edged several nominees for the award.
Other players nominated for MVP were Kelly Williams and Macmac Cardona of Talk ‘N Text; Asi Taulava of Coca-Cola; Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine; LA Tenorio of Alaska; Arwind Santos and Jay Washington of San Miguel.
Yap, Conference MVP for the 2009-2010 Philippine Cup, was also included in the league’s 1st Mythical Team selection the season. Other members of the mythical group were Tenorio, Washington, Santos and Sonny Thoss of Alaska.
Yap’s colleagues, meanwhile, admired the way he handled himself on court despite his marital woes.
“I hear a lot of stuff every time but he never shows it on the court," said Alaska import Diamon Simpson.
“Matindi ang trinabaho niya for the team, he deserves to be the MVP," said B-Meg Team Manager and former PBA star Alvin Patrimonio.
“I’m so proud of James and his efforts,” said Rene Pardo, B-Meg board representative.