FIBA: Rookie jitters lead to late blunder for CJ Perez in OT loss to Angola

Paul Lintag on Sep 04, 2019 07:29 PM
FIBA: Rookie jitters lead to late blunder for CJ Perez
Following a clutch triple to force a 73-all tie against Angola, CJ had the chance to win the game in regulation for Gilas but he ended up wasting 5.2 seconds before throwing up a three near halfcourt in the Philippines’ final play before overtime. (FIBA)

CJ Perez has emerged as the best and most consistent player for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA World Cup despite the string of heartbreaking defeats.

The PBA’s no. 1 rookie has been the top local scorer for Gilas in the World Cup, increasing his total output each game.

In the overtime loss to Angola Wednesday, Perez once again came off the bench and scored 17 points to go along with seven rebounds.

It’s his first major tournament for Gilas and Perez has been sensational. He says it’s all about doing the right thing and giving back the trust handed to him by the coaching staff.

“For me, it’s just doing the right thing all the time,” Perez said.

“Every game, I give my effort and I don’t need to do something that I’m not. The trust of Coach Yeng, I feel it so I give it my all to coach Yeng,” he added.

Even as he tries his best however, Perez has been prone to making rookie mistakes in the World Cup.

He’s an actual rookie after all.

Following a clutch triple to force a 73-all tie against Angola, CJ had the chance to win the game in regulation for Gilas but he ended up wasting 5.2 seconds before throwing up a three near halfcourt in the Philippines’ final play before overtime.

It seemed like Perez was unaware there was only that much time left on the clock.

"It’s my decision, I was supposed to drive that. Lack of experience maybe,” Perez said.

“I think I should have driven that, maybe I could’ve made the shot,” he added.

Gilas, despite a spirited comeback in the fourth quarter onwards, ran out of steam in extra time.

The Philippines has been swept out of Group D and will start the classification phase in Beijing with a 0-3 record. Gilas Pilipinas will take on an old rival in Iran, as well as Tunisia, in the Chinese capital city starting Friday.

“Great game for us but we needed that win,” Perez said on the Angola loss.

“The effort is there, credit to Coach Yeng and the team for the effort,” he added.

 


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