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    CJ Perez ready to lead Columbian renaissance if made No. 1 draft pick

    Dec 14, 2018
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    CJ PEREZ is ready to take on take on the daunting challenge of lifting Columbian out of the cellar if picked No. 1 overall in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

    Although nothing is official, Perez said he welcomes the possibility of being picked by Columbian in Sunday's draft proceedings at Robinsons Place Manila, hoping to inspire a winning culture in the perennial cellar-dwellers.

    “Siyempre nasa baba (Columbian). As a rookie, kaya ko naman kasi galing ka ng talo sa finals ng collegiate. Kailangan mo pa rin mag-stick ‘yung winning attitude sa sarili ko at kailangan mag-share ako sa mga teammates ko,” said Perez in an interview with reporters on Friday during the SLAM Draft Suite in Pasig City.

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      Perez shrugged off pressure that goes with being the top pick.

      “(Auto)matic na ‘yung pressure dahil darating at darating naman ang pressure kapag nasa top ka,” said the 25-year-old, adding he is willing to be a role player at Columbian if the need arises.

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      “Siyempre, same CJ Perez pero marami pang kailangan matutunan. Pagdating natin doon, as a rookie, kahit role player muna tayo. Expect ko na marami pa akong matututunan,” said Perez.

      Perez also assured he will be a willing passer and defender at Columbian.

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      “I hope na magagawa ko pa rin ‘yung scoring, ‘yung defense ko sa PBA. Different basketball ‘yun eh. I need to be smarter," said the 6-1 Perez. "Siyempre aside from scorer, gusto ko siyempre i-share ‘yung bola sa teammates ko. Siguro ‘yung pagiging point guard, facilitate, ‘yun gusto ko pang ma-improve.”

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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