NORMAN Black paved the way for Ali Peek's professional career in the PBA.
Now he sees it end under his watch.
The multi-titled Talk 'N Text coach said he will have nothing but fond memories after the veteran power forward bid the team goodbye on Wednesday during the Tropang Texters’ practice at the Moro Lorenzo gym inside the Ateneo campus.
Black, who personally handpicked Peek as the No. 3 overall selection in the 1998 PBA rookie draft, said the big man’s reliable mid-range jumpers and jump hooks are some of the things that he will surely miss.
“Ali will be missed by Talk ‘N Text and the PBA. For the last 16 years, the man-mountain has been a force in the paint despite standing a little over 6-foot-3,” Black told Spin.ph.
“His (Peek) jump hooks, mid-range jump shots, and sometimes, Incredible Hulk physicality will be the things I remember most.”
Peek has had knee problems in recent years which had been the result of the wear and tear of playing in the pro league for the last 16 seasons.
Peek’s distinguished pro career was marked by a Best Player of the Conference award in the 2003 Invitationals while playing for Alaska, a Mythical First Team citation in 2001, and a Sportsmanship Award in the 2007-08 season.
The 6-foot-4 Peek, who turned 39 last February 13, ended his PBA career with averages of 11.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists.