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THE PRO68 

CJ Perez glad to overcome pressure from being the no.1 pick after making waves in his rookie season

by Reynald Magallon, January 31, 2020 10:49pm

Columbian Dyip rookie CJ Perez was just glad and grateful that he was able to overcome the pressure from being 2018 PBA draft overall pick.

The Dyip rookie made a splash in his rookie season after leading the league in scoring in the recently concluded 2019 season of the PBA -something that hasn't been done in 20 years or since Eric Menk did the same feat in 1999 with the Tanduay Rhum.

Perez averaged 20.8 points beating the likes of Matthew Wright and June Mar Fajardo for the award. 

"I'm so blessed na nagagawa ko yung mga ganun sa rookie season ko. Isa rin yung achievement sa career ko." said Perez who also credited his teammates for helping him get the award.

"Syempre hindi ko naman magagawa yun kung hindi sa teammates ko ehh kaya nagpapasalamat ako sa mga teammates ko na nangyari ito sa akin," he added.

Perez's splendid rookie season didn't just end there though.

The former Lyceum Pirates standout also finished second in the statistical race at the end of the season with 33.47 SPs, making him a candidate for the Most Valuable Player plum along side other big names in June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro and Christian Standhardinger.

For Perez, being included in that list of players was already an achievement and a testament of his hardwork. He also added that he's glad that he was able to overcome the pressure after being the top pick in the last season by proving that he belongs to the big league.

"As a rookie parang naovercome ko yung pressure kasi pag number one pick ang daming dumarating na pressure so yun nga candidate ako as MVP ngayong season," said Perez.

"Sobrang blessed kasi sobrang malalaking (pangalan) alam mo yun mga top guns ng PBA yung nasa linya ng MVP, masaya ako na nandun ako sa list na iyon," he quipped.

By virtue of being the candidate in the MVP honors, the 26-year old cager is also poised to take the rookie of the year award against the likes of Robert Bolick, Ray Parks and Javee Mocon.

However, Perez kept his eyes set on the loftier goals and that is to guide his team to the playoffs - something he wasn't able to achieve in his rookie year.

"Para sa akin bonus na lang kung may awards akong makukuha eh kasi ang dream ko talaga makapasok sa playoffs yung Columbian pero di nga nangyari pero may mga susunod pa namang taon," said Perez.

Perez also vowed to continue the hardwork in hopes that his splendid play will carry over to his sophomore year.

"Kailangan ko lang icontinue kung ano yung ginagawa ko na di lang mag end dito sa rookie year ko. Sana mag tuluy-tuloy and makaiwas sa injury para yung achievements na makukuha ko ngayon or sa mga susunod pang taon, mag continue lang."

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