by Jonas Terrado
Winning the PBA Governors’ Cup crown has brought a different meaning for two member of the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok.
Veteran center Rafi Reavis came full circle after winning his 11th PBA championship, the most among active players. His latest title was captured alongside Hotshots coach and former teammate Chito Victolero.
Reavis and Victolero were teammates when the San Juan Knights captured the 2000 Metropolitan Basketball Association title, beating the Negros Slashers in six games behind a roster that included Chris Calaguio, Bonel Balingit, Kalani Ferreria and Bruce Dacia.
“With him being my coach and now winning one under him, it’s just awesome. Words can’t describe it,” Reavis said.
The 40-year-old made his PBA debut in 2002, bagging two titles as a member of the Coca-Cola Tigers in that year’s All-Filipino Cup and the 2003 Reinforced Conference.
He was traded to Barangay Ginebra in 2006 and added two more championships in the 2007 Philippine Cup and 2008 Fiesta Conference. Reavis has been with the Purefoods franchise since 2009 where he has been on seven title-winning teams.
Reavis’ other championships came in the 2010 Philippine Cup, 2012 Commissioner’s Cup, 2013 Governors’ Cup and the historic 2014 Grand Slam.
Rome dela Rosa, on the other hand, followed the feats of his father and uncle by joining the winner’s circle.
Dela Rosa’s father Romy was a member of Shell side that won the 1990 First Conference in controversial fashion, when Anejo staged a walkout in the sixth game.
Uncle Ruben, on the other hand, also won a PBA title in the 1997 All-Filipino Cup as a third-string swingman of the Purefoods Corned Beef. The Cowboys beat Gordon’s Gin in six games.
Incidentally, the younger Dela Rosa also won his first championship after six games.
“I’m on cloud nine,” said Dela Rosa. “I can’t really say much but I’m just truly blessed and thankful to be able to finally win one. And to win it with Magnolia.”
Dela Rosa fell short in his previous four attempts when he was with the Alaska Aces, the team the Hotshots beat for the crown.
He was traded in late-2016 to the Hotshots in exchange for Jake Pascual, and has since thrive as a key defensive cog. Dela Rosa was credited for his defense on import Justin Brownlee in the semifinals when Magnolia ended Ginebra’s two-year title reign.