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Patience is a virtue for CJ Perez as he hopes to finally play for Gilas

by Eugene Flores, July 22, 2019 2:41pm

CJ Perez is hoping to get his chance of finally representing the country's proud colors in the upcoming 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China this coming August.

Perez was tapped by Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao to be part of the 19-man pool of the national team as part of their preparations for the world meet later this year.

"First time kong sumama rito sa men's team. Para sa akin lang naman inspired ako maglaro lagi. Binibigay ko lang best ko every practice," said the first overall pick of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) 2019 draft class in an interview with Courtside Philippines.

The 25-year-old swing man is yet to debut wearing the Gilas Pilipinas jersey as he was never been selected to play for Gilas Under-19 nor the Under-23.

"Sana pagdating ng panahon makasama ako talaga sa laro. World cup yon, masarap sa feeling yon, i-represent mo yung country," he added.

The Columbian Dyip guard is joined by fellow rookie Robert Bolick of the Northport Batang Pier as they fight for the point guard position together with the comebacking Kiefer Ravena, who is back with the national team after serving an 18-month suspension. 

Asked about what he learned from the veteran international players of Gilas, Perez emphasized one thing - patience.

"Yung patience talaga yung kailangan. Actually mahirap gawin pero alam mo yon pagdating ng panahon makukuha mo rin yung pasensya. Ayon nga antay-antay lang."

"Yung patience, yun yung una kong natutunan. Point guard ako rito, yun yung pinag-aaralan ko pa kung paano mag-move ng bola. Paano i-involve yung mga teammates lalo na yung mga big man."

"Lalong lalo na sa play. Sa play kasi ni coach Yeng kailangan i-involve mo lahat eh."

But the young cager is thankful for the support of his teammates in helping him familiarize the system of coach Yeng Guiao. 

"Oo, tinutulungan naman nila ako mag-adjust and yung sistema ni Coach Yeng halos lahat naman kami hindi pa kabisado, maganda na nakakasabay na ako, sakto lang na nakakasabay."

Whether he makes it nor not in the final 12-man lineup, Perez knows his stint training with Gilas wiil improve his confidence, which he can bring to his mother team in the PBA. 
 
"Syempre iba yung kumpyansya mo kapag nandito ka sa Gilas."  

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