MANILA, JULY 8, 2013 (PHILSTAR) This picture shows how well-loved Mikaela Cazzola (fourth from left) is by her boyfriend James Yap (second from left) and the Yap family.

It was taken on June 30, a day after the sweethearts came back from a two-week vacation in Italy.

Mikaela is pure Italian and she works at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The dinner was James’ belated Father’s Day blowout for his father, Carlos (rightmost), and his mother Annie (second from right) at a restaurant in Manila.

During Mikaela’s first visit to Escalante, Negros Occidental, James’ hometown, James introduced her to his parents and relatives (some of whom were also present at the dinner).


James Yap talks about new girlfriend ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA - For the first time, basketball player James Yap shared details about his new girlfriend, days after he uploaded photos of them together during a vacation in Europe on Instagram.

In an interview with reporters on Monday, Yap described his girlfriend, Michaela, as an expat.

He shared that Michaela has been very supportive of him despite his past.

"Alam naman niya lahat bago ako pumasok sa relasyon," said Yap, whose marriage to television host Kris Aquino was annulled recently. "Alam niya lahat."

"Very ano siya, supportive. Supportive all the way," Yap added.

While he is happy with how his relationship is going, Yap said his main focus right now is his son with Aquino, James "Bimby" Yap Jr.

The basketball player is hoping to spend more time with his son, after he met with Bimby and Aquino in court on Monday.

Asked if he wants to introduce Michaela to Bimby soon, Yap said: "Wag ko muna isipin 'yun. Ang iniisip ko muna kung paano ko ibo-bonding 'yung anak ko. 'Di ko pa iniisip kung ipapakilala ko siya."

Yap and his lawyer, Atty. Lorna Kapunan, refused to give details about the result of Monday's hearing, citing a gag order from the court.

Kapunan briefly said: "Happy rin [kami]... We're just repeating what Kris said."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

James Yap

James Yap BMEG.jpg

No. 18 – San Mig Coffee Mixers

Position Shooting guard / Small forward

League PBA

Personal information

Born 15 February 1982 (age 31) Escalante City, Negros Occidental

Nationality Filipino

Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

Listed weight 205 lb (93 kg)

Career information

High school St.Bernadette college of Valenzuela

College University of the East

PBA Draft 2004 Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall Selected by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs

Pro playing career 2004–present

Career highlights and awards

James Carlos Agravante Yap Sr. (born February 15, 1982 in Escalante City, Negros Occidental) is a Filipino professional basketball player for the San Mig Coffee Mixers in the Philippine Basketball Association.

Yap enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Bacolod Tay Tung High School and then at Iloilo Central Commercial High School, where he sparked his team to three consecutive Iloilo PRISAA titles.

He then went on to play at the collegiate level for the UE Red Warriors and helped the team to the Final Four in 2002 after years of absence. However, the Red Warriors lost to the Blue Eagles, the eventual champions. In the following season of UAAP, Yap led the Red Warriors to the Final Four for the second straight time.

Eventually in the semifinals series, the Warriors lost to the Far Eastern University Tamaraws. Nevertheless, Yap was named as the Most Valuable Player in 2003.

Yap also played for the Philippine Basketball League from 2001 to 2004.

He decided to declare his eligibility for the PBA Draft, and was selected with the 2nd overall pick in the 2004 PBA Draft by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. One of the focal points of the Purefoods offense, he is the 2005–2006 and 2009–2010 season's Most Valuable Player and he is also 2009–2010 Philippine Cup Conference MVP. Yap is also a nine-time PBA South All-Star team starter through 2004 to 2012 and a many-time member of the RP Basketball Team.

Amateur career

Yap was born in Escalante, Negros Occidental. As a child, Yap already showed athleticism playing football, baseball, and track and field until high school. Growing up, he looked up to one of the most prolific players in the history of Philippine Basketball, Samboy Lim.

Yap emerged to be one of the most promising basketball stars in the Iloilo/Negros region back in the late 1990s. Early on that decade, he played for the Bacolod Tay Tung High School and made his mark.

He was transferred to Iloilo Central Commercial High School, displaying his skills. Manila Standard. Along the way, he sparked his team to three consecutive Iloilo PRISAA titles. It was now rumored that the Negros Slashers of the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association was going to sign Yap.[citation needed]

Instead, Yap went on to play at the collegiate level. He played for the UE Red Warriors under former national team coach Boysie Zamar.

In 2002, known for his quick-release shooting and all-around presence, he, alongside Paul Artadi and Ronald Tubid, brought the Red Warriors to the Final Four after years of absence. However, second seed University of the East lost to a dramatic semifinal series as they faced the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, the eventual champions.

Nevertheless, Yap established himself as one of the most prolific scorers averaging more than 20 points per game in just his third year in the league.

In the same year, he led UE to the first Bantay Bata Crossover Cup, exacting a sweet revenge against Ateneo in the Finals. A month after, he once again led UE to the inaugural Collegiate Champions League crown, beating FEU.

In the 66th season of UAAP, Yap led the Red Warriors to the Final Four for the second straight time as he topped his teammates in points and rebounding, and closed second to Artadi in overall efficiency rating. Eventually in the semifinals series, the Warriors lost to a much more defense-orchestrated team, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws led by tactician coach Koy Banal and star player Arwind Santos.

Nevertheless, Yap was named as the Most Valuable Player from coaches, players, and media votes. In the same year, he, along with incourt partner Paul Artadi, was teamed up with other UAAP and PBL counterparts to lead the Philippines in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games to a gold medal finish and was eventually honored by Philippines Sportswriter Association as the best basketball player in the amateurs alongside the best player in the professional level, Asi Taulava.

Yap played in the Philippine Basketball League from 2001 to 2004. In 2001, he played for the ICTSI-La Salle Archers forming a backcourt tandem with Mike Cortez that almost had their team beating the veteran-laden Shark Energy Drink in the finals.

In 2002, along with Mark Cardona and Joseph Yeo, he helped put the Archers in the playoffs against the Blu Detergent Kings. In 2003, he had to sit out the whole conference after ICTSI refused to sign his release papers to make him eligible to play for Sunkist-Pampanga.

In 2004, Yap signed up for one conference with the Welcoat Paintmasters, teaming up with the comebacking Jojo Tangkay, leading them to a runner-up finish. He and Tangkay lost to Peter June Simon of the Fash team for the MVP plum.

PBA career

Rookie season (2004–05)

Yap entered the 2004 PBA Draft, and was selected as the second overall pick by the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants. The Giants were coming off a disappointing 2003 season, after failing to enter the quarterfinals of the three conferences. They ended the season with a dismal 9–27 win loss card (a franchise low).

Their best player, Alvin Patrimonio, announced his retirement in November 2004, after playing his entire career with the team.

During his rookie season, Yap mostly came off the bench. Bothered by an ailing shoulder, Yap had a slow start in the 2004–05 season but later on, he improved as he had numerous games where he scored 20 or more points.

By the end of the season, he averaged 12.48 points per game (ppg), 4.70 rebounds per game (rpg) and 1.03 assists per game (apg) in 26.9 minutes per game (mpg). However, Purefoods failed to get past the quarterfinal round against the Shell Turbo Chargers. Despite leading all rookies in scoring, Yap eventually lost to Rich Alvarez in the Rookie of the Year award race.

First MVP award (2005–06)

James Yap shooting a free throw in 2008 In the 2005–06 season, the Escalante native received more playing time and began to show more of his abilities as a talented young guard. In the 2005–06 Fiesta Conference, Yap was 4th in the statistical race, behind at the end of the semifinals series, while the Giants finished 4–2 at the series conclusion.

In the classification round of the 2006 Philippine Cup, the Chunkee Giants finished with a 12–4 record. In the first round of the all-Filipino Cup, Yap recorded 34 points against the Sta. Lucia Realtors then had a career-high 37 points to beat the Barangay Ginebra Kings.

Near the end of the round, he played an important role in the win against the powerhouse team Talk 'N Text.[8] The victory put the Purefoods team in a first-place finish in the classification phase, earning them an outright semi-finals berth for the second consecutive time.

After the accumulation of player statistics at the end of the semis, Yap edged out teammate Kerby Raymundo and Red Bull's Enrico Villanueva for the Philippine Basketball Association Most Valuable Player award by recording averages of 17.60 ppg, 4.35 rpg, 1.18 apg and 1.19 steals per game (spg) in 36.4 mpg.

This made him, at 24 years of age, the fifth youngest player, and second sophomore to have won the individual award. He was the statistical leader and garnered more than 7000 combined votes from players, the 4-man committee, and the media, almost 5000 votes ahead of the rest of the candidates.

Yap was the first Purefoods player since Alvin Patrimonio to win the MVP award. He was also named to the Mythical First Team alongside teammates Raymundo and Roger Yap, and on-court rivals Enrico Villanueva and Lordy Tugade.

Second MVP award (2009–10)

Yap defended by Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood in 2009 The 2009–10 Philippine Cup started on October 11, 2009. Purefoods finished third in the elimination round with a 12–6 record, outlasted the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the quarterfinals in five games, and defeated the No. 2 seed and sister team San Miguel Beermen in six games after trailing the series 1–2.

In the Finals, Purefoods swept Alaska, 4–0, to be crowned 2009–2010 PBA Philippine Cup champions.[13] During their series against the Aces in the finals, Yap scored 24, 32, 14, and 18 points respectively. For leading his team to this incredible feat, Yap was named Best Player of the Conference (BPC),[14] as well as Finals MVP.

He also won his second MVP award, for the 2009–2010 PBA season with averages of 17.98 ppg, 3.50 rpg, 2.02 apg and 0.64 spg while playing almost 34 minutes per ball game. Yap was lauded for winning the award despite numerous distractions he had to deal with off the court. During his acceptance speech, Yap tearfully dedicated his latest trophy to his son Baby James.

During the 2009–10 season, Yap was selected to his 7th All-Star Game appearance. In March 2011, via fan voting, Yap was voted to his 7th consecutive PBA All-Star Game; the Escalante native collected the most number of votes with 28, 444 to become the starting guard for the South team.

Starting the 2010 Fiesta Conference, the team changed its name from Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants to B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados. The end of the season, however, marked the departure of coach Ryan Gregorio, who left the Llamados after seven years and signed a deal with PBA returnee Meralco Bolts. Gregorio was succeeded by his assistant and multi-titled Philippine Basketball League coach Jorge Gallent.

Upsets and return to glory (2010–present)

James Yap playing offensively against Aaron Aban of Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters With Yap's contract expiring in September 2010, Derby Ace offered him a three-year deal with an option for the player to extend it for another two years once the second season of the new deal ends.

A few weeks before the beginning of the 2010–11 season, it was announced that Yap would be re-signing with B-Meg.

The Llamados entered the 2010-11 PBA Philippine Cup as defending champions.[20] In the first round of the tournament, the former University of the East standout averaged 15.1 points per game, while the team ended the Classification Phase with a record of 7–7.

The two-time MVP and Peter June Simon led the team to the quarter-finals, in which B-Meg scored back-to-back wins against the Meralco Bolts.

For the series, Yap averaged 22.0 points, as the Llamados defeated Meralco in two games. Following this series, the Llamados found themselves on a collision course with the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in the semifinals.

In a losing effort in Game 1 (B-Meg lost 91–98), Yap was able to record a personal conference-high of 36 points. Yap suffered breathing difficulties and struggled with his shooting in Game 2,[24] scoring 13 points in 31 minutes, but still played a main role and came up with a game-winning steal in the final seconds of the last quarter that gave B-Meg a 88–87 victory.

The Tropang Texters won Game 3, but the defending champions tied the series 2–2 in Game 4 with a 98–93 win, despite a late rally by TNT in the fourth quarter. Talk N' Text would eventually defeat the Llamados in Game 5 (97–83) and Game 6 (89–72), thus eliminating the defending champions from the tournament. Yap averaged 18.75 ppg, 1.77 apg, 4.30 rpg and 0.60 spg in 36 minutes playing time.

The 2011 PBA Commissioner's Cup, the second conference of the season, began of February 18, 2011. After compiling a 0–2 record in the first 2 games of the elimination round, the Llamados broke their losing streak with a 121–92 win against the Air21 Express.

In the following game against the Barangay Ginebra Kings on March 6, Yap recorded 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as B-Meg won 89–96; it was Yap's first double-double since the 2006 Philippine Cup. The two-time MVP was also named Player of the Week from February 28 to March 6. On March 13, 2011, Yap injured his calf in a 91–97 loss against the Alaska Aces. He missed the following four games of the elimination round against Meralco, Smart Gilas, San Miguel and Talk N' Text.

The Llamados were eventually eliminated in the first round of the Commissioner's Cup with a 4–5 record. The team's quest for a championship in the 2010–11 season was ended when they were eliminated in the semifinals of the 2011 PBA Governors Cup. At the end of the season, Yap was selected to the PBA Mythical Second Team.

In the offseason, two weeks after resigning as head coach of the Alaska Aces, Tim Cone was appointed as the new head coach of the Llamados, replacing Jorge Gallent. With a new offensive scheme being enforced by Cone, the triangle offense, the Llamados started the 2011–12 season with a 2–4 record in their first 6 matches of the 2011–12 PBA Philippine Cup.

On October 29, 2011, in a closely fought game against Barako Bull, Yap hit a critical 3-pointer to tie the game 79–79 with 1.8 seconds left in the fourth period which sent the match into overtime. However, the Energy ultimately defeated B-Meg 87–84.

After B-Meg struggled to win back-to-back games, Yap led the Llamados to a 8-game winning steak in the elimination round of the conference, thus earning them a top stop in the team standings and a twice-to-beat advantage.

He was also named the PBA Player of the Week twice. In the quarterfinals B-Meg faced the 8th seeded Powerade Tigers. In an upset, they were eliminated by the Tigers in two games, as they lost 88–97 and 131–123 respectively. It was only the third time in PBA history that the lowest seed eliminated the top seed in the quarterfinals.

Following the upset in the all-Filipino Cup, B-Meg started the 2012 Commissioner's Cup strong with a 6–3 record and a second place-finish in the first round following a 96–94 win against the Powerade Tigers. Expected to lead his team, Yap strugged with his shooting and his performance declined as he averaged 12.9 points and 3.6 rebounds.

He was subsequently diagnosed with a sprained ankle but still played an important role for his team. After losing 84–93 in a seeding playoff against Ginebra (the Kings also finished the elimination round with a 6–3 record) for the 2nd spot, in which Yap scored 18 points but was held scoreless in the last quarter, the Llamados found themselves pitted in the quarter finals against the Meralco Bolts.

In April, Yap was named as the starting guard for the Veterans teams for the 2012 All Star Game. In a hardly fought series B-Meg was able to resurge after losing Game 1 and eliminated the Bolts in 3 games, to enter the semifinals against Ginebra. On April 13, 2012, in the first quarter of Game 2, Yap hit his 700th career three-point field goal. The Llamados won the series 3–1, to earn a Finals slot against Talk N' Text.

On May 6, 2012, the Llamados won the 2012 PBA Commissioner's Cup championship 4–3, and Yap was named Finals MVP.

Yap was a starter for the Veterans squad in the 2012 PBA All-Star Game, where he shared with Dylan Ababou the distinction of holding the highest-scoring individual performance in the history of the game after dropping 44 points. Yap was also adjudged as All-Star Game MVP.

The B-Meg Llamados booked a ticket to the 2012 PBA Governors' Cup Finals against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, after beating the Barangay Ginebra Kings 74-72, via a Peter June Simon game-winner. B-Meg dropped their first game 91-80, but the resilent Llamados bounced back and defeated Rain or Shine 85-80 in Game 2, where James Yap was named Best Player of the Game after a 24-point, 9-rebound performance.

But B-Meg suffered two straight losses, 93-84 and 94-89 respectively, as Rain or Shine led the series 3-1. But in Game 5, James Yap retaliated with a conference-high 30 points to lead B-meg to a 91-81 victory.

Yap dedicated his performance to his former mother-in-law, the late former President Corazon Aquino.

Yap then chipped in 20 points in the crucial Game 6, as B-meg won in convincing fashion, 97-81, to tie the series at 3-3. With Game 7 at hand, B-Meg aimed to become just the fourth team in PBA history to come back from a 1-3 deficit in the finals - a feat they had previously accomplished in 2006.

They also looked to grab their first back-to-back championships in franchise history. However, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters fought hard in Game 7 and defeated B-Meg, 83-76 despite Yap's 23 point performance. B-Meg missed crucial shots during crunch time, and import Marqus Blakely fouled out of the game early in the fourth period.

At season's end, Yap was selected to the PBA Mythical First Team.

For the 2012-13 season, the Llamados renamed their team as the San Mig Coffee Mixers. The team finished second in the elimination round of the 2012–13 Philippine Cup with a 10-4 win-loss card.

The Mixers then faced the Petron Blaze Boosters in the quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat advantage, managing to win 92-87 as the game went into overtime. The victory earned San Mig a place in the semifinals against Rain or Shine.

On December 21, Yap led his team to a 106-82 victory in Game 2 over the Elasto Painters as he scored 34 points including 7 triples in 47 minutes of play, to help equalize the series 1-1.

In the following matches, however, Yap struggled with his shooting and failed to bring the Mixers to the finals as San Mig lost the series 2-4.

After starting the 2013 Commissioner's Cup 0–3, the Mixers acquired returning import Denzel Bowles, in a move to improve the team's results.

On March 20, Yap scored his 800th career three-pointer in a 82-87 loss against the Air21 Express. With the help of Yap and Bowles' performances, San Mig ended the classification phase with a record of 8-6, fourth overall in the standings, which gave them an outright quarterfinal slot.

The Mixers lost their first game 85-88, with Yap facing back problems as he scored 8 points in 25 minutes. After being held to 7 points in Game 2, Yap bounced back in Game 3 as he scored 20 points in a 90-82 victory to help his team win the series 2-1, sending themselves to the semifinals against the Alaska Aces.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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