Mark Caguioa pays tribute to 2001 draft batchmate PJ Simon

Magnolia veteran Peter June Simon announced on Wednesday his retirement from the PBA after a distinguished 16-year career through a lengthy Instagram post.

And among those who wished him well was 2001 PBA draft batchmate Mark Caguioa.

The 40-year Fil-Am, who was taken in as 3rd overall by the Gin Kings, commented on the said post of Simon who in turn was drafted 43rd overall by now-defunct Sta. Lucia.

“My only batchmate left from 2001 draft,” wrote Caguioa.

“One of the nicest guy on and off the court. Pj might be a nice guy but dont let that fool you. I call this guy a quiet assasin bcuz he usually goes under the radar,” he added.

Simon never played a single game for the Realtors and instead broke into the league three years later when he was picked up by the Hotshots, then known as the Purefoods TJ Hotdogs, from the unrestricted free agent pool.

From there, the native of Makilala, Cotabato went on to become part of 8 championships including a Grand Slam in 2014. He was named to the All-Stars 8 times and was even hailed as MVP in 2008.

In addition, the ‘Super Sub’ was recognized as Mr. Quality Minutes twice.

Magnolia was actually set to retire Simon’s number 8 jersey during the halftime break of the team’s elimination round game against Brgy. Ginebra which was initially scheduled for May 10 but the plan never materialized after the league was forced to call off the conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He is a born winner and a true champion. Thank you for all the great battles. Bro good luck on your next chapter,” closed Caguioa.

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