COLUMBIAN Dyip has its eyes set on CJ Perez as its top selection in the upcoming 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.
Team governor Bobby Rosales bared to Spin.ph the squad's initial plan to make the Lyceum star forward the No. 1 overall selection in the December 16 proceedings at Robinson's Ermita.
"Probably we're going with CJ," he wrote in a short text message.
Perez, 24, has built a solid case for the spot at the top of this year's class owing to his stellar run with the Pirates, who he led to back-to-back Finals appearances in the NCAA while averaging 18.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 3.3 steals.
The Lyceum senior was also hailed as the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Conference MVP after leading Zark's Burger-Lyceum to the championship.
Perez was a consensus Top 3 pick in the coming draft alongside San Beda rival Robert Bolick and Rayray Parks, who is set to play for Alab Pilipinas in the ABL and has yet to declare his availability for the draft.
Rosales' statement, however, is expected to drastically change the order of picking.
Rosales also made it clear that Columbian is sticking to its pick, allaying fears of a repeat of last year's controversial deal that sent the rights to the top selection to powerhouse San Miguel for fringe players Ronald Tubid, Rashawn McCarthy, and Jay-R Reyes, as well as a 2019 first rounder.
That pick turned out to be Fil-German forward Christian Standhardinger.
"We'll keep our pick," vowed Rosales.
In a separate tweet, the Philippine Star's Nelson Beltran also quoted Rosales as saying, 'We'll draft him and we'll keep him."