Former teammate and close friend Peter June Simon was the first to support the decision of veteran big man Mark Pingris to officially retire from the PBA.
While he believes the 39-year-old Magnolia power forward still has at least a year left good enough to play, retiring nonetheless, was the best option Pingris did at this stage of his career.
Napag-uusapan na namin yan (retirement) before, medyo nauna lang ako sa kanya,” said Simon, 40, who retired from the game last year.
“Marami kaming napag-uusapan hindi lang basketball.”
Pingris formally retired from playing last Tuesday when he announced his decision through his Instagram account.
His retirement finally ended the so-called ‘Big Three’ era at Magnolia which was primarily bannered by Pingris, Simon, and two-time MVP James Yap, who was the first to leave the franchise following his trade to Rain or Shine in 2016.
But their journey together produced seven championships for the Purefoods franchise, Including a grand slam in 2014 under coach Tim Cone.
It was a solid bond together that truly stood the test of time, according to Pingris.
“Napakatagal na ng pagsasama namin ni PJ. At ang tagal na rin naming magkalaban ni PJ. MBA (Metropolitan Basketball Association) pa lang to PBL (Philippine Basketball League), and then nung magkasama kami sa PBA with James Yap, yung tinatawag na Big Three,” recalled Pingris in the sports program The Game where he appeared with Simon.