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    COLUMN: CJ Perez's commitment to Gilas truly admirable

    CJ Perez and SMB teammate Chris Ross two of only few constants at Gilas practice
    Apr 28, 2023
    CJ Perez Gilas Pilipinas
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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    CHICAGO - While shining a light on Christian Stanhardinger's self-sacrifice to help Gilas in the upcoming SEA Games, I have inadvertently omitted to recognize another player-patriot.

    San Miguel Beer point guard C.J. Perez.

    And I'd like to thank super agent P.J. Pilares for allowing me to rectify an oversight.

    "CJ has been attending (Gilas practice) from the time training started. Just a heads up," said a text message from Pilares, whose wealth of big-name clients include Japan B.League campaigner and national team stalwart Dwight Ramos.

    READ: As other players give excuses, C-Stan offers service

    San Miguel's Governors' Cup conference ended last March 29 with an 87-85 loss to sister-team Ginebra. C.J. could have skedaddled to some beach paradise to lick his wounds and spend quality time with his family.

    But the 6-foot-2, 187-pound whirling dervish elected to stay put and honor his commitment to Gilas. Same with his San Miguel teammate Chris Ross.


    If you don't already like CJ, consider his act of selflessness an open invitation.


      Fresh from winning the Govs' Cup with his TNT playmates, the 6-foot-5, 186-pound Calvin Oftana could have used "excessive happiness leading to laziness" as an excuse to beg off from the Cambodia trip.

      But he didn't. Apparently, Calvin is fond of crayons and he loves red, white and blue.

      Take a bow, young man.

      AHANMISI SOUNDS OFF. Replying to my tweet about certain players abandoning Gilas over personal reasons, Converge forward Maverick Ahanmisi tweeted: "Tweets like this is why players don't like to play for Gilas. They don't always have to have a reason. People need and deserve a break, too, without owing anyone an answer to why or not."

      I'm a big fan of this Converge juggernaut, who averaged a 20.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game last conference. Ahanmisi is my favorite Maverick since Dirk Nowitzki.

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      And while I respect his opinion, I also reject it completely.


        Look, man, you're giving me way too much credit. My tweet ain't the reason why Jamie Malonzo doesn't want to play for Gilas. He said it himself; he is going to a wedding.

        Ditto with Mikey Williams who declined for "personal reasons," a declaration as vague as "maybe" and "whatever."

        And yes, when a player is listed in a pool for an upcoming competition that was set months in advance, he has an obligation to inform the coaching staff of his unavailability and he must do so in a timely fashion.

        There's a term for this, it's called common courtesy.

        Agree, everybody needs and deserves a break but this isn't hard labor or construction work. They're playing ball, traveling by plane, eating first-class meals and staying in plush hotels.

        Look, team and player relationships are not always unions of intended permanence. But for said relationships to blossom, loyalty and commitment are required.


        Malonzo and Williams shouldn't be crucified for not prioritizing the SEA Games but it ain't wrong, either, to call them out for their lack of loyalty and commitment to the flag.

        WHAT ABOUT BOLICK? Robert Bolick was one of the alleged players involved in the recent "ligang labas" controversy that has tainted the PBA.

        After I wrote the story about Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon's suspension and fine, many SPIN.ph readers asked if Bolick (assuming the allegations are true) has been disciplined yet.

        I don't know. But, hey, maybe Bolick is a sacred cow, an untouchable in his team.

        Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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        PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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