CJ Perez ready to take game to next level for Zark's-Lyceum in D-League
CJ Perez is fired up to take on more physical defense from seasoned foes in the D-League. Jerome Ascano

CJ Perez is ready to take the next step in his basketball career and take his game to the next level after being drafted by Zark’s Lyceum in the PBA D-League.

Perez was Zark’s first-round choice in Tuesday’s PBA D-League draft, the team’s pre-selected pick since the Jawbreakers have a tie-up with the Pirates in the coming Foundation Cup.

The NCAA Season 93 MVP now looks forward to the D-League, where he is excited to hone his skills against bigger, stronger, tougher players.

Perez, though, is already bracing for more physical play.

“Nandoon naman talaga ‘yun kasi everytime naman talaga, gagawin talaga dedepensa. Mas ma-experience ko maglaro sa mga dating PBA, ‘yung mga mas matatanda sa akin. Magandang experience sa akin. Iba ‘yung NC sa D-League,” Perez said.

Perez said Zark’s Lyceum coach Topex Robinson is preparing him and his teammates for D-League play as its preparations go into full swing with weeks to go before the season opener in January.

“May mga dumedepensa talaga, ‘yung mga pisikal. Pinaghahandaan din namin ‘yun,” Perez said.

After the season ended for LPU in the NCAA which saw the Pirates bow to San Beda in the finals, Perez took time to rest, but at the same time, hone his conditioning by playing in pick-up games.

Expecting a different level of play in the D-League, Perez said winning a Best Player of the Conference in the developmental league isn’t even in his mind, as his goal is to only help Zark’s in any way he can.

“Hindi ko na iniisip ‘yun. Siguro kung darating, kung papalarin, mas maganda,” said the 23-year-old Perez.

“Hindi naman sa akin lang. Kailangan mag-work as a team. Mas okay ‘yun,” the LPU star added. 

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