File photo. Mikee Reyes (L) is selected as the 25th pick in the fifth round of the 2016 PBA Draft by TNT KaTropa.

By John Remil Isaga

It was a happy birthday indeed for former Fighting Maroon Mikee Reyes.

On his birthday, Oct. 30, 2016, the TNT KaTropa squad of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) drafted the now 26-year old with their 25th pick of the 5th round in the annual event.

The 5’9’’ Reyes is notable for leading the Maroons to a long-awaited victory in the UAAP Season 77 with a 28-point performance on Aug. 9, 2014 against the Adamson Falcons. The win broke a two-year, 27-game losing streak for the team, which led to a bonfire celebration.

However, he was the subject of controversy when he departed the team the previous season after being sidelined for two years due to injuries, citing that the Maroons “didn’t need him anymore.” He only played in the opening game of Season 76 before getting benched by then-head coach Ricky Dandan, much to the frustration of the returning guard.

After leaving the university with one more playing season left in 2015, Reyes served as an analyst for the coverage of the NCAA Season 91.

Reyes is the first UP player since big man Raul Soyud was drafted in the third round of the 2014 draft by Blackwater Elite.#

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