Retired or out for prolonged lunch?

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    “THE Boss” has not yet retired. He’s just out for a prolonged lunch, figuratively.

    That’s what Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso claimed yesterday, a day after reports came out that Sonny “The Boss” Thoss has decided to hang up his jersey a few weeks before the planned PBA resumption through a semi-bubble process next month at Clark.

    “For me, it’s not officially retirement… although parang ganoon,” Cariaso told Malaya-Business Insight.

    “Kasi we’re hoping that if there’s a vaccine, tapos All-Filipino ang susunod na conference next season, Sonny wants to play one more time. Iyon ang pangako niya sa team, sa management,” added Cariaso.

    “One more All-Filipino, para we can honor him, we can retire his number. Iyun ‘yung plano.”Apparently, signals got crossed amidst the swirling uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak that forced the PBA to go on lockdown since March.

    THOSS: Not playing unless there’s a COVID vaccine.

    It did not help any that Thoss earlier stated that the 2020 Philippine Cup would be his last.

    But the outbreak turned into a pandemic and Thoss’ plans became cloudier when he opted not to participate in the compact workouts allowed by the government starting last Aug. 25, six days before his contract was to expire.

    According to Cariaso, the 38-year-old slotman even told management he would not play in the PBA resumption unless a vaccine for the infection is found.

    “I don’t want to use that word (retirement),” insisted Cariaso.  “Kasi, Sonny chose not to play during this bubble. So, siya ‘yung nag-decide na pag puwede na ang small group workouts… tapos matutuloy na conference natin hindi maglalaro si Sonny unless there’s a vaccine.

    “So siya ‘yung nag-decide. Napag-usapan nila ng management, since expired siya end of August, hindi na siya i-re-renew. Kasi nga nag-simula na small groups (workouts). So that’s what happened there.”

    Even if he is now a free agent, the rights to Thoss remain with Alaska and it is highly doubtful he would play for another team than the one which made him the No. 5 overall pick in the 2004 rookie draft.

    One of Thoss’ plans is clear.

    “Gusto pa niyang maglaro ng isa pa,” stated Cariaso.

    “For now, he’s kinda semi-retired. Or retired. Pero knowing na gusto pa niyang maglaro ng isa pang all-Filipino….”

    Honoring a player who has spent all his 15 years in the PBA with the Uytengsu-owned franchise is certainly something Alaska looks forward to doing. But not just yet.

    Maybe by the next Philippine Cup, which the PBA plans to open with its 2021 season sometime in March.