Magnolia guard PJ Simon announced his retirement from basketball in a lengthy social media post on Wednesday.
“This is PJ Simon, The SuperSub, Your Scoring Apostle, signing out,” the 40-year-old star said.
On why he is calling it a career after 19 years that go all the way back to the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA), Simon said, “It’s time to focus on my family. My wife is pregnant and I want us to be together as we start a family.”
He added that his situation in Davao amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic factored in making the decision.
He said he was surprised by what his career has gone through all these years.
“Hindi ko inakala na pagkatapos hindi mapansin nung 2001 PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) Rookie Draft na posible pa pala mag-iwan ng sarili kong marka sa liga (I never thought that after I was overlooked in the 2001 PBA Rookie Draft, it would still be possible for me to leave a mark in the league),” Simon said.
He was selected in the fifth round of the 2001 Draft but Sta. Lucia, the team that selected him, did not sign him to a contract, leaving him as a free agent.
Simon eventually found himself joining the Davao Eagles in the 2001 MBA season, where he became their focal point of offense.
His stint with Davao ended right when the MBA met its demise in 2002 but Hapee, then a powerhouse team in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL), recruited him afterward.
Simon instantly became a key player in Hapee’s offense and he developed an individual mini-rivalry with Welcoat’s star, James Yap.
However, in 2004, Magnolia acquired both Simon and Yap through free agency and the draft, respectively, and they became the team’s 1-2 punch in the offense.*PNA