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PJ Simon retires from PBA

DAVAO City and Makilala, North Cotabato pride Peter June Simon has officially retired from the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) on Wednesday, Sept. 23, after 17 years of wearing the no. 8 Purefoods franchise jersey.

The 43rd rookie pick back in 2001 who carried the monikers “the Scoring Apostle” and “Super Sub” made his formal announcement on his Instagram account.

The 40-year-old wingman is the third veteran player to retire in a two-week span along with Kelly Williams of TnT Katropa and Sonny Thoss of Alaska.

Together with Thoss, Simon was relegated as a free agent prior to the re-opening of the Philippine Cup to be played the Clark Freeport.

In his Instagram account, Simon bared:

“I didn’t think it was possible for a skinny and small child from Meeting, North Cotabato to reach PBA. I didn’t expect that after the 2001 PBA Rookie Draft wouldn’t notice that it’s still possible to leave my own mark in the league.

“It’s sad but this might be the right time to say goodbye to the league.

“I had to go back to Davao when my father got sick and died and I had difficulty going back to the pandemic. Maybe it’s a sign that this is the right time to retire.

“I gave 17 years of my life to PBA, to Magnolia Hotshots, and to all the fans but now it’s time to focus on my family. My wife is pregnant and I want to be together as we start a family.

“The blessings I have received in my life are so much especially in my PBA career and I thank God deeply.

“I lean on God in every decision I take and pray that God will guide me in my journey.

“I am also thankful to Boss RSA who gave me opportunity in the field of basketball and business, to all who became my coach and teammates for 17 years in my league, to the support staff and management side, to full PBA, the Magnolia franchise, and to all the fans who endlessly supported me.

“I’m hoping to see you once my number is retiring.

“This is PJ Simon, The SuperSub, Your Scoring Apostle, signing out.”

Prior to the PBA, Simon played for the University of Mindanao Wildcats under coaches Atty. Manny Nitorreda and Mario Babao, which earned him back-to-back Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards and three collegiate titles before showing his wares in the Philippine Basketball League’s (PBL) Happee Toothpaste. He then played for the Davao Eagles in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) under head coach Jun Noel.

In his 17 years in the PBA for the Purefoods franchise, he won eight championships, one grand slam, one four-peat, a one-time All-Star three-point champion title, nine All-Star appearances and lone All-Star Most Valuable Player award. He married his long-time girlfriend, 2018 Bb. Pilipinas Supranatural Jehza Huelar, in 2019.

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