A day before the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals, B-MEG’s crack scoring guard Peter June Simon had a big concern.
No, it wasn’t about trying to stop Talk ‘N Text guard Jayson Castro from getting to the hoop. Neither was he worried about the lockdown defense of Tropang Texters enforcer Ryan Reyes.
“Doon kasi sa [PBA Annual], nakalagay na hometown ko, Cebu City. Baka bukas, pag tawagin ako, sabihin galing akong Cebu City,” Simon told InterAKTV on Sunday, referring to the traditional callout during the PBA finals, where each player gets his chance at having the solo spotlight on national television before hostilities begin.
For many PBA players, the callout is one of the rituals they most look forward to when playing in the finals. In Barako Bull’s semifinals series against Talk ‘N Text, Willie Miller told the AKTV broadcast that he missed the feeling of being in a dark arena, with the spotlight on him as the coliseum barker called out his name — an experience, for PBA players, that is unique to protagonists of the finals.
Simon is concerned about being introduced as from Cebu City because, well, he isn’t from Cebu City.
“Galing akong Makilala, North Cotabato,” said Simon, proudly. It is a small place of less than 80,000, the last Cotabato town before reaching Davao City.
In Davao, Simon became a basketball cult hero after starring at University of Mindanao. After college, he was picked up by the Davao Eagles, with whom he won the MBA Discovery of the Year award in 2001. He moved to Manila the next season, and thrived in the PBL, winning the Platinum Cup MVP award in 2004 and leading Fash to the title in a memorable five-game series against Welcoat, which starred his current B-MEG teammate James Yap. After that, he was signed by Purefoods to a free agent PBA contract.
For Simon, having his hometown mentioned in the finals would be his way of paying tribute to where it all started.
“Inaabangan rin kasi yun ng mga kababayan ko,” he said. “At saka para naman makilala yung Makilala.”
» Chris Tiu draws biggest shrieks as PBA All-Stars get warm reception from fans
» Toothless aggression: Peter June Simon no stranger to losing teeth in hard-fought games
» Without stars in crunchtime, San Mig Coffee caps elimination round with victory over Meralco