CJ Perez on first PBA tuneup: 'Medyo nahihiya pa ako ng konti'
Danine Cruz on Jan 07, 2019 03:13 PM
"Kung kailangan mag bakaw magbabakaw." -- CJ Perez
After CJ Perez's first taste of a PBA tuneup game with the Columbian Dyip, the first overall draft pick admitted that he is still figuring things out with his brand new team. The Dyip hosted the Northport Batang Pier Monday in their homecourt at the Azure Urban Resort Residences where they got away with a 97-83 victory.
Perez finished with six points in the practice match - far from his usual double-double performances in the college ranks. Moments after the game, the former NCAA MVP shared what he thought of his performance.
"Nag-aadjust pa, dami pang kailangan i-adjust sa sitwasyon sa laro kasi iba yung depensa dito kaysa doon sa collegiate," said the 25-year-old athlete.
"Matic na yan na energy guy [ako] na kahit rookie ako kailangan ko maging leader para maging maganda ang takbo ng team but as of now medyo nahihiya pa ako ng konti," Perez said in between laughs.
The 6-foot-1 guard should get over the jitters as soon as possible because as early as his first year, he is primed to be Columbian's ticket out of the cellar.
The team finished the last PBA season with a dismal 6-27 win-loss slate with zero playoff appearances.
However, things are expected to be better for Columbian with prized acquisitions in Perez and rookie point guard JP Calvo.
As head coach Johnedel Cardel put it, "I told the guys that even though you are a rookie, don't act like a rookie. Gusto ko parang veterans. What you did in the amateur, what you accomplished in amateur, dapat maging ganun din kayo dito. Parang noong nasa Lyceum o Letran ka."
Safe to say that Cardel has given the go signal for Perez to carry the team and stir them to greener pastures.
"Kung kailangan mag bakaw magbabakaw," Perez quipped, "Pero syempre nag-aadjust pa kasi di namin masyado kabisado ang isa't isa kaya nahihirapan pa kami mag execute pero sa mga susunod na practice siguro maeexecute na namin ng maayos yung offense namin."
Although a humble victory compared to the rest of the upcoming PBA 44th Season which will start on January 13, Perez and the rest of Columbian will take this tuneup game win as a sign of good things to come.
"Malayo pa pero sana itatake namin ito as positive para sa team kasi yun nga nanalo and maganda yung execution kanina, sa defense din maganda kaya sana pagdating ng season maganda yung itakbo namin," he expressed.
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