PHOENIX coach Louie Alas has no doubt CJ Perez will be a big star in the PBA. Unfortunately, for now, it will be for a rival team.
"Sa ngayon, may tatlong sure thing akong nakikita na papasok sa liga next season at isa dun si CJ. Ngayon pa lang, masasabi ko na bright ang future ng bata na yan," Alas told Spin.ph.
Reliable as ever, the Lyceum forward is once again in the running for the NCAA MVP award in Season 94. He is in line to be the first local player to win back-to-back MVPs since San Sebastian slotman Rommel Adducul in 1996 and 1997.
It's also no surprise that Perez, who also took home the Conference MVP award in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup, is one of the three frontrunners, together with Bobby Ray Parks and Robert Bolick, in the 2018 PBA Draft in December.
Alas, whose Phoenix team recently acquired Calvin Abueva naturally covets both the "Beast" and "Baby Beast" Perez forming a dream partnership for one team.
"Sino ba namang tatanggi na makuha si CJ eh ang galing nung bata?" Alas said of Perez possibly joining forces with Abueva.
However, Alas knows that no matter how hard Phoenix tries, Perez won't fall on its lap come draft day as the team is expected to pick fourth or fifth in the first round.
"Kahit anong gusto ko, hindi babagsak sa amin yun," he said, acknowledging the level of talent his team is set to miss out. "Pero sigurado ako na malayo ang mararating ni CJ sa PBA."