Philippine Basketball Association star James Yap of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters named teammate Gabe Norwood, fellow University of the East product Ronald Tubid, and TNT KaTropa guard Ryan Reyes as the best defenders at his position in the league.
“Isa si Gabe (Norwood). Isa pang nahihirapan ako si Ronald Tubid tsaka si Ryan Reyes,” said Yap in a recent podcast interview.
Yap spent the best years of his PBA career with Purefoods where he had to face off against the 6-foot-6 Norwood.
“Mabait si Gabe. Kapag nagbabantay yan, honest defense lang talaga. Gagamitin niya talaga yung athleticism niya (sa iyo),” said Yap.
Norwood was named to the PBA Defensive Team of the Year six times and was a one-time Defensive Player of the Year (2009-10).
Among active players Yap has the most points with 10,044 just ahead of Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa who has 9,927 points.
Tubid, who relied on guile and street smarts, was a totally different matchup.
“Si Tubid naman….biglang magpapa-charge, tapos umaangat yung paa (niya), yun pala natutuhod ka na,” said Yap. “Naging teammate ko na siya nung high school sa Iloilo selection, and then nung college, naging teammate ko na talaga siya.”
Reyes’ best qualities were his daring and quick hands.
“Kaya kailangan hindi mo ipapakita sa kanya yung bola. Kailangan yung katawan mo talaga ihaharang mo sa kamay niya. Kung hindi aagawan ka niya,” said Yap.