Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis on Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight — over their Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up off a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play, that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.
“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.
“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.
Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris — who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks — believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.
“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.
“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”
And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — the third most of all time.
“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”
Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.
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