PJ Simon follows Marc Pingris’ footsteps, joins Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards

It’s going to be a Purefoods mini-reunion for MPBL team Nueva Ecija after PJ Simon agreed to follow former teammate Marc Pingris’ footsteps.

The 41-year old Simon, who announced his retirement on September 23, 2020 or just days after the Magnolia Hotshots relegated the sweet-shooting guard to the free agent list, has agreed to join the Rice Vanguards for the upcoming 2021 Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational Cup which is scheduled from December 11 to 23 later this year.

The development came at the heels of head coach Charles Tiu’s announcement regarding Pingris’ decision to come out of retirement and join the team.

“I would also like to welcome PJ Simon to our team,” said Tiu.

Simon spent his entire 17-year PBA career with the Magnolia franchise and won a total of eight championships, including the league’s fifth triple-crown in 2014.

With two of the legendary Purefoods trio now on board, Tiu hinted that he might just bring in the third member to complete the cast.

“Isa na lang kulang,” said Tiu in reference to James Yap who has, actually, yet to officially retire.

The 2nd overall pick of the 2004 PBA rookie draft, however, is currently on leave from the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters as he is running for the post of San Juan City councilor in the upcoming elections.

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