ALI Peek admits he was "frustrated and threatened" to be relegated to the reserve list by Talk 'N Text after the arrival of good friend Danny Seigle but at the same time understands that the move is for the good of the team at the present time.
Brought down to the reserves to make room for Seigle under the league rule limiting Fil-foreigners on teams' active roster to five, the 38-year-old banger admits frustration has crept in as he is reduced to a mere spectator while letting a couple of injuries heal.
“Yeah, I feel threatened but did I feel bad? Yeah of course, not because it was him (Segle taking my place) but because that (being cut) never happened to me my whole career, my entire career,” said the third pick overall of the 1998 PBA rookie draft.
“Honestly, it’s a little frustrating but at the same time, you have to say when and you have to have some leeway and let other people have opportunities. You have to be mature about it,” he said.
Peek also bared feeling uneasy sitting behind the bench "eating popcorn" during games, but he stressed that everything is part of "making the best team in the world, even better."
Peek said he is also happy to see pal Seigle do well for the Texters.
“I’m behind the bench, in my street clothes, kicking back and eating popcorn, watch them play, but Danny is doing great … he’s adding a new dimension (to the team),” Peek said.
“He’s playing the four position but he can also play the three position. He’s versatile, he’s creating match-up problems for real power forwards. It’s an advantage,” he added.
But when asked if the turn of events had brought him closer to retirement, which has been on his head for sometime now, Peek made it clear he'll be ready to play once he gets the call.
“I haven’t been thinking about it for a while. It’s always been at the back of my mind. I know that day will come. But right now, if coach wants me to play… I will play,” he said.
“But right now, I need more time for my lower back to be one hundred percent. I want to get to the point where I am not forcing myself and play through the pain,” added the Hawaii-raised cager.
Peek has been hobbled by different injuries, and it was the reason why Talk n Text coaching staff picked him to be put on the reserve list.
Seigle, for his part, said he is looking forward to playing with Peek, who he said has been one of the "baddest" defenders he has faced since he arrived in the league in 1999.
“After all these years, it’ll be nice to play with him … instead of against him,” Seigle said.
“Honestly, there’s gonna be some sacrifices. Whether it be me or him or anyone else, we’re a team, you do whatever is good for the time at the time,” he said.
Asked if he’ll be ready to give back the spot to Peek if the need arises, Seigle responded: “Yeah, I will be ready. Whatever it takes to win!”
Talk 'N Text team captain Jimmy Alapag said Peek remains one of the integral members of the team, especially during their championship runs over the last five years.
Hopefully, Alapag said, Peek will be back on the lineup come playoff time.
“He’s (Peek) been an integral part of our team. It’s tough to have him out … but at the same time, it gives him opportunity to heal up some of the injuries he’s had these past few months,” Alapag said.
“We’ll see what happens come playoffs time, we’d be glad to have him back. For now, he’s working hard and good to see him here on practice doing well,” added the streak shooting guard.