After they clinched the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup title in Game 6, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero and Rafi Reavis hugged as though a father met his son for the first time in many years.
It was understandable because the two go a long way back. Victolero and Reavis had won a championship together playing for the San Juan Knights in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association.
Now they are champions anew, this time as player and coach. Reavis was so awestruck he simply couldn't describe the feeling.
"That's something I really enjoy. That's so foreign. I don't know any other words to describe it. But you know winning with him, championship... Our first was 18 years ago. As teammates. Now as with him being my coach and now winning one under him," said Reavis.
"It's just awesome. Words can't describe it. He's a great coach, but he's a great person first and foremost. And it's just a great feeling to be able to win with him. I'm just so happy to be with him."
The 41-year-old Reavis won his 11th title, the most among active players, making this conquest even sweeter. He said it felt like winning for the first time.
"I mean it's a great accomplishment. But sometimes records are always broken or achieved by others. So I'm just glad to be able to share that with a bunch of new guys and some familiar faces," he said.
Winning that amount of championships and still playing at a high level are a testament to Reavis' discipline and hard work.
"I try to keep myself in shape, eat right, just try to stay relevant. Just try to stay healthy and work as hard as I can all the time. I think that's what kept me going this long. And I don't see myself stopping anytime soon," he said.
With Magnolia regaining its contender status, it seems that it won't be the last time Reavis and Victolero will celebrate a championship together.
"The 11th PBA title just feels like the first one. I'll be here trying to get another one. So I'm looking forward to my 12th," he said.