"Nakakaawa na si James. I think he's been through a lot lately, 'tapos dagdag pa itong issue. He is a friend. We're both Bisaya and I have been dating someone for the past year na," clarifies Isabel Oli about a PEP-Alert entry that she and cager James Yap were seen dating inside a mall. 

Photo: Noel B. Orsal

 

PEP Alert reported spotting James Yap and Isabel Oli in a mall and said that Isabel regularly watches the PBA games—the implication being that she watches James's games.

 

Friends of Isabel immediately called the GMA Artist Center artist for verification, but she was reportedly too surprised by the news to answer.

 

"Sa 'yo lang ako unang sumagot about this," Isabel began her phone conversation with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), when we personally texted her for clarification.

 

"My friends and my handler from [GMA] Artist Center texted me, nasa SCOOP BOX daw ito na nag-date daw kami ni James. Sobra naman yun, nakakahiya kay James. It's so embarrassing. Naaawa ako sa kanya na lahat na lang ng makausap niya, ili-link sa kanya."

 

Isabel says she was actually with her steady non-showbiz date when she saw James at the mall.

 

"Why kaya parang walang nakakita ng kasama ko that time? Para namang non-existent yung ka-date ko at kami lang ni James ang nakita ng nag-scoop noon. I was with somebody that time. Dahil magkakilala naman kami ni James, nagkumustahan lang kami and that was it.

 

"Nakakaawa na si James. I think he's been through a lot lately, 'tapos dagdag pa itong issue. He is a friend. We're both Bisaya and I have been dating someone for the past year na, and you know that."

 

As for Isabel's regular presence in PBA games, she explains that she has a free pass, courtesy of her brother who works for a company that owns a basketball team in the professional league.

 

"My brother works for Welcoat, that's why we always have free tickets kapag naglalaro sila. And ako naman talagang mahilig and huge fan of basketball, kaya sumasama ako."

 

James is the star player of another PBA team, B-Meg Derby Ace.