ANTIPOLO City – The close loss against TnT Katropa Saturday should serve the Columbian Dyip in good stead the rest of its campaign in the PBA Governors Cup.
Star rookie CJ Perez said battling a veteran and star-studded team like the Katropa in such a tightly fought endgame was a good experience for a young franchise like the Dyip.
A series of mental lapses and turnovers in the homestretch cost the Dyip a 125-120 setback against the league-leading Katropa at the Ynares Center.
“Matututo kami sa mga ganitong bagay na game. Hindi lang minsan ito mangyayari. For sure, may mga susunod pa,” said last year’s top pick in the rookie draft. “At least sa susunod alam na namin kung ano ang gagawin.”
Columbian gave TnT a big scare when it battled back from a 55-69 deficit early in the third to take the lead at 110-109 in the final five minutes.
The Katropa managed to regain the upperhand and led, 123-120, but still found themselves under fire from the Dyip, who had a chance to trim the gap with 59 seconds left only for Rashawn McCarthy to miss a driving lay-up and Perez forcing a hurried shot after grabbing the offensive rebound.
The 25-year-old Perez admitted it was a mental mistake for his part.
“Nakuha namin yung offensive rebound pero dapat tumawag kami ng timeout or nilabas ko na lang (sana),” he said. “Nakita ko kasi may bumangga sa akin (Roger Pogoy), kaya itinira ko na.
“Pero no excuses naman,” added Perez. “Andun na kami pero nabitin lang talaga.”
The former NCAA MVP from Lyceum finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, and three assists but was only 9-of-24 from the field as Columbian Dyip fell to an even 2-2 card.
Nonetheless, Perez was happy for the effort shown by the Dyip.
“Nandun na kami. At least lumalaban kami ngayon. Nabitin nga lang,” he said.