MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Talk ‘N Text player Ali Peek has called it quits after 16 years in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
"2day I retire from professional basketball. I thank my family, loved ones, friends, team, coaches, management, and God:) what a ride!" the 39-year-old forward-center announced on Twitter.
Peek joined the PBA in 1998 when he was drafted by the Pop Cola Panthers. He played for two years for Pop Cola before transferring to Alaska in 2001. He later joined the Coca-Cola Tigers before signing up with Talk 'N Text.
Peek averaged 11.57 points per game and 7.95 rebounds per outing during his professional career.
In November 2011, the 6-foot-4 Peek was shot in the neck after a practice with his team mates in Mandaluyong City. He survived the attack and was able to return to active play.
Police arrested the suspects in the shooting a year later.
After bidding the PBA goodbye, Peek thanked his fans for their support throughout his playing career.
“I also want 2 thank the Philippines n it's great people! I believe the Filipinos are the most passionate bball fans in the world!!!” tweeted the Filipino-American, who was picked third overall in the 1998 PBA Rookie Draft.
Peek became a three-time All-Star and the Best Player of the Conference in the 2003 PBA Invitationals, tallying career averages of 11.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.2 shotblocks per game.
However, he has been recently bothered by his back injury.
According to Virgil Villavicencio, the media bureau chief of the MVP Group, which owns Talk ‘N Text, this is the reason Peek has decided to hang up his jersey.
“I know for a fact that he was thinking of retiring. I think he was able to talk to the management of Talk ‘N Text about it and we will respect his decision,” Villavicencio told the PBA website.
“Just the past year and a half, the injury just kept on coming back,” he said.
Peek, however, remains grateful for his playing years with the PBA.
“I also want to thank all of you! The die hard PBA fans who continued to support the league all these yrs! Please keep it up!!!:)”