By Drei Christopher Villanueva
It’s long been held that basketball is a young man’s game, but how then do you explain the likes of Asi Taulava, Danny Seigle, and Rafi Reavis? Indeed, the running joke among the three veterans centers around the fact that at this point, every single one of them qualifies as a PBA dinosaur. After all, Taulava (The Ageless Rock) is the oldest player in the PBA at 43, while Seigle, who currently plays for TNT Ka Tropa, was part of the 1999 Fil-Am invasion.
Of the three, however, it is Rafi Reavis who is seeing the most action: Pushing 40, and currently playing his 16th season, the 6-foot-8 center Reavis played a key role in the Star Hotshots’ recent Philippine Cup bid as counterpoint to Barangay Ginebra’s 6-foot-9 forward Japeth Aguilar.
Reavis came into the PBA in 2002, and quickly distinguished himself with his ability to blend into nearly any team set-up with his defensive abilities. A PBA journeyman, he has helped win championships for every team he played for – Coca-Cola, Barangay Ginebra and San Mig Coffee (now known as Star),where he became a part of its grand slam team in 2014.
In the best-of-seven semifinals series against Ginebra (which Star lost), Reavis proved himelf an able competitor alongside players who were in grade school when he began his career. When asked about this following the semis, Reavis was modest, praising the performances of his teammates, such as Marc Pingris.
“It’s definitely easier when you have (Marc) Pingris on the backside. We know each other for so long and we’re both defensive-minded. Marc has been helping everybody, not just me, but he’s been the anchor of the team’s defense.”
Reavis wants to maintain his efficient paying style until he retires, but with retirement currently far from his mind, he has set his own goal to achieve before deciding to step down: “I’m trying to chase Asi. I’ve said before that I’m trying to retire a year after he retires. But I still a got a lot left in the tank. I’m trying to eat right and keep myself in shape.”
If Reavis’ semis performance was anything to go by, aging gracefully is definitely something that this dinosaur is well on the way to mastering.
Image sources: PBA Inquirer