IF plans don’t miscarry, Magnolia is set to formally retire the playing jerseys of former stars in Marc Pingris and Peter June Simon in the scheduled Christmas Day game of the 2021 PBA Governors Cup.
The special ceremony will be held during the Dec. 25 Manila Clasico game between the Hotshots and defending champion Barangay Ginebra Kings at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Pingris and Simon are expected to be presented with a glass-framed replica of their No. 15 and 8 playing jerseys, respectively.
The storied franchise has retired only three playing jerseys - four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio's No. 16, Rey Evangelista's No. 7, and Jerry Codinera's No. 44 jersey.
“Naririnig ko nga yan pero wala pang pormal na sinasabi ang management,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero following the team’s 109-98 win over Rain or Shine on Sunday.
“Pero matagal na rin namang plano yan, di ba. Yung kay PJ dapat dati pa hindi lang natuloy,” added Victolero. “Maganda yun kung sakali, Manila Clasico tapos Christmas Day. Para rin sa kanila yun.”
Curiously, the two were supposed to come out of retirement and play for Nueva Ecija in the MPBL recently, only for the plans to be shelved at the last minute.
Simon, 41, retired just before the first ever PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga after playing his entire career with the Purefoods franchise.
Pingris, 40, meanwhile, officially announced he’s hanging up his jersey prior to the start of the league’s 46th season, though he no longer suited up for the Hotshots in the Clark bubble due to a calf injury.
The two, along with two-time MVP James Yap, once formed the great triumvirate of Purefoods, which saw the franchise complete a grand slam in 2014.
In all, Pingris won eight of nine championships with Purefoods, the same titles Simon had with the team.