CJ PEREZ said he is still adjusting to PBA play in his first few weeks with the Columbian Dyip.
The number one pick in last year’s PBA draft, Perez said he still has a lot to work on especially on defense as the new season of the league draws near.
“Nag-aadjust pa,” said Perez after Columbian’s first tune-up game on Monday against NorthPort at Azure Residences in Parañaque City. “Marami pang kailangan i-adjust sa sitwasyon sa laro. Iba ‘yung depensa dito kesa sa collegiate.”
Perez scored 10 points in the 97-83 win over the Batang Pier in a tune-up that also featured longtime collegiate rival Robert Bolick, the third selection in the same draft.
The two NCAA rivals only got to defend each other late in the fourth quarter when the result of the game was already settled.
“Nagkasawaan na siguro kami,” said Perez in jest. “Okay naman. Feeling ko nag-aadjust din siya sa team.”
The former Lyceum cager is satisfied with his play in his first taste of PBA action albeit in a tune-up game environment.
“Okay naman. Maganda naman ‘yung flow nung laro. Nakakapag-execute naman ng maayos,” said Perez.
So far, Perez said he is given the task by head coach Johnedel Cardel to be a leader on the floor despite being a rookie.
“Siyempre, matic na ‘yun na energy guy at kahit daw rookie ako, kailangan maging leader ako para maganda ang itatakbo ng team. As of now, nahihiya pa ako pero medyo na-aano ko naman ‘yung pagiging leader ko,” said Perez.
Perez also said he is also embracing the role of being a scorer on the team that finished fourth on points scored per game (100) but last in points allowed (112.30).
“Matic na ‘yun. Kung kailangan magbakaw, magbabakaw,” said Perez with a smile. “Pero siyempre, nag-aadjust pa dahil hindi pa namin masyado kabisado ang isa’t isa. Nahihirapan pa kami mag-execute. Sa mga susunod na practice, mae-execute na namin ‘yung offense namin.”
As far as his fellow rookies is concerned, Perez said he is very comfortable with his team-up with point guard JP Calvo as they bring speed to the game.
“’Yung samahan namin ni Calvo lalo na kapag nasa court, bumibilis eh. ‘Yun naman ang gusto ni coach kapag sabay kami. Maganda naman ‘yung takbo talaga,” said Perez.
Despite the victory against NorthPort, Perez said Columbian has a long way to go as the Dyip form a competitive team come the 44th season of the PBA.
“Malayo pa pero sana i-take namin ‘to as a positive kasi nanalo at maganda ‘yung execution namin sa defense. Maganda ang dinepensa namin. Sana pagdating ng season, maganda ang itakbo namin,” said Perez.