CJ Perez is having an outstanding season for a San Sebastian team that is defying expectations in this NCAA campaign, but the kid is far from satisfied.
Not when he's made former Stags star Calvin Abueva his benchmark.
The Stags' Fil-Nigerian recruit dubbed 'Baby Beast' and 'The New Beast' by fans was the first to admit that he is a long way from coming close to matching the skills of the player he is trying to emulate.
"Hindi pa, kulang pa," said Perez, who makes no effort to hide his admiration for Abueva. "Malayo pa para matapatan ko ang ginagawa ni Calvin para sa team."
By most standards, Perez's numbers are impressive enough. He is averaging 16.2 points, eight rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game for a Stags team that lost not just Abueva but also Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual from last season.
Those numbers, however, still pale in comparison since former league MVP Abueva, in his final year with the Stags, became the first player to lead a major local league in scoring, rebounding, and assists.
The Stags are off to a 4-2 (win-loss) start this season, but Perez is not taking credit. Another sticking point for the Bautista, Pangasinan native is his 5.5 turnovers per game.
"Binigay ni Lord 'yung panalo, hindi lang naman ako 'yung may gawa eh lahat kami sa team tulungan," Perez said.
The youngster, though, knows what it takes to get even better.
"Work hard pa ako para may maipakita pa ako sa mga susunod," Perez said. "Kasi kung gusto ko manalo, dapat magawa ko lahat ng best ko."