Veteran center Jay-R Reyes retires after 14 PBA seasons

Journeyman center Jay-R Reyes announced on Saturday his retirement from the PBA after 14 seasons.

"20 years, 10 teams, 1 love," summarized Reyes via his Facebook account of his colorful basketball career, which started in Letran in the NCAA juniors and continued in UP in the UAAP.

"It has been a truly blessing to be able to devote more than half of my life to my first love. Now, I am officially announcing my retirement from basketball," continued the forward-center, who had career averages of 6.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in 459 games.

Reyes, 36, last suited up for the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters inside the "bubble" at Clark, Pampanga, playing eight games. He averaged 1.5 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.6 assists in his final campaign. On April 4, the Fuel Masters released him and swingman Alex Mallari.

The 6-foot-7 Reyes was one of the direct hires by the Welcoat (now Rain or Shine) franchise when it entered the PBA in 2006. He garnered All-Rookie honors along with Kelly Williams, Arwind Santos, L.A. Tenorio, and Jireh Ibañes after averaging career-highs of 12.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in 2006-07.

Two years later, Reyes was named an All Star and was named to the Mythical Second team after averaging 12.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He never averaged double digits in points after that season, though, and was traded twice in the 2011-12 season while suiting up for Air21 and Alaska. He eventually also played for Meralco, Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel and Kia/Columbian before finding his way to the Fuel Masters camp for the PBA bubble.

Reyes also played for the national team, albeit in a short stint for former Gilas head coach Chot Reyes in the gold-medal winning Jones Cup squad in 2012. He won four titles as a member of the San Miguel Beermen, beginning with the 2015 Governors' Cup and ending with the 2017 Commissioner's Cup.

"I am extremely grateful to God, my wife, kids, family, and friends who have supported me throughout this journey," added Reyes.

"To all the team owners, my teammates, coaches, ball boys, physical therapists, and my fans -- I would not have been able to be where I am if not for all of you...excited for what God has in store for me and my family in the coming seasons. I may be turning over my jersey, but my love for ball will always be in my heart. Jayr Reyes, signing off," closed the slot man.