Magnolia lifer PJ Simon retires from PBA

Peter June Simon has decided to hang up his spurs as he retires from the PBA after a colorful 16-year career that saw him win 8 championships with the storied Magnolia franchise.

The 40-year-old announced his retirement on Wednesday, September 23, less than 3 weeks before the PBA resumes its delayed season in a semi-bubble setting in Clark, Pampanga.

Simon was supposed to see action in the Philippine Cup as his last hurrah but he chose to call it a career following the death of his father.

"Kinailangan kong umuwi ng Davao noong nagkasakit at namatay ang father ko at nahirapan na rin akong makabalik dahil sa pandemiya," Simon wrote on his Instagram account.

(I needed to come home to Davao when my father got sick and died and I had trouble coming back because of the pandemic.)

"Sign na rin siguro 'yun na ito na 'yung tamang time para magretiro."

(Maybe it was a sign for me that this is the right time to retire.)

"Nakakalungkot man pero ito na siguro yung tamang panahon para magpaalam sa liga," Simon added.

(It may be sad but this is probably the right time to bid the league goodbye.)

Simon exceeded expectations from someone who got drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 PBA Draft.

Earning the moniker "Scoring Apostle" and "Super Sub," Simon built a reputation as a potent offensive option and a spark plug off the bench.

He formed a "Big Three" with James Yap and Marc Pingris as they led the franchise to multiple titles, including a rare Grand Slam in 2014.

As an individual, Simon earned a Second Mythical Team nod, an All-Star Game MVP plum, two Mr Quality Minutes honors, 8 All-Star selections, and won the Three-Point Shootout.

Simon said building his own family played a part in his retirement.

"My wife is pregnant and gusto ko magkasama kami as we start a family," said Simon, who is married to beauty queen Jehza Huelar.

(My wife is pregnant and I want us to be together as we start a family.)

Magnolia initially planned to hold a jersey retirement ceremony for Simon in its game against Barangay Ginebra last May but that has been pushed back as the pandemic stalled the all-Filipino conference.

"Umaasa ako na magkikita-kita tayo sa panahon na iretiro ang aking numero," Simon said.

(I'm expecting that I will see all of you again at the time that I have my number retired.)

"This is PJ Simon, The Super Sub, your Scoring Apostle, signing out." – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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