CHARLES Rhodes considers his first ever finals stint as pro ball player as something special that he’ll have his mother coming over here to watch him with San Miguel Beer in its PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series against TnT Katropa.
And to make it a double celebration, the well-built import plans to have his mother and wife for his birthday celebration on the 25th, when they play Game Three of the best-of-seven title series.
“I want my mother to be here,” he said on Monday following the presser for the mid-season conference finals. “So they come on my birthday, they’ll be here for Game3, for my birthday.”
It so happened, this will also be the first time his mother will be watching him play outside of the US.
“My mother never sees me play overseas. She’s never been overseas” said Rhodes, whose family is based in Texas. “So everything wil be very emotional for me.”
The San Miguel import turns 32 on Sunday, a special day he usually spends with his family.
“It’s my first time ever to play on my birthday. I used to be at home relaxing,” he revealed.
This one Rhodes can’t certainly relaxed, especially with the Beermen up against a TnT side that is aching to win its first ever league championship since its last title run in this same conference two years ago.
As he said after San Miguel finished off Star in four game to advance, it will be Rhodes’ first ever stint in a finals as a pro. He has been in five semifinals before, but never made it past that stage.
“So I know what it feels like, I know what the pain is of not getting to the Promised Land that’s why it’s so emotional for me,” Rhodes added.
He’s so focused on winning his first career championship that he’s not really thinking about winning the Best Import award, even with the prospect of him being the top contender for the honor after being left as the only original import in contention for a title.
Barangay Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee was the other import to have played the entire conference without being replaced, although the Kings were bundled out by the Texters in the semifinals.
For that distinction alone, Rhodes said he’s really proud of what he has achieved so far with San Miguel.
“I’m just glad that I’ve started the season and I’ll finish it. We’ve been in the championship,” he pointed out.
“Me and Brownlee, we’re the only two really lasted. We’re the last two to get to the semifinals. The other two guys (Ricardo Ratliffe and Joshua Smith), they came over as replacement. And that’s what I’m proud about.”
He’ll certainly be more proud about if ever he and the Beermen get to win the championship.