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CJ Perez: ‘Marami pa kong weakness’ after PBA Finals defeat

CJ Perez acknowledges that he never had it easy in the recent PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup Finals that saw his San Miguel lose the throne to Meralco.

The star guard was far from his form prior to the title series and that, he said, comes with the territory being one of the Beermen’s main weapons.

“May struggle pero ‘yun ‘yung ano eh… ‘pag ikaw ‘yung nakakagawa sa team, paghahandaan ka,” he told a few reporters moments after their tough 80-78 defeat in Game 6, Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Perez did average 20.8 points per game in the series, but shot below par with a 37.2-percent accuracy from the field — a huge dip from the 57.8-percent he fired in their four-game sweep of Rain or Shine back in the semis.

The 2023 Commissioner’s Cup BPC shot a combined 10-of-31 from the floor in the last two games of the best-of-7 championship bout.

Fouls were a problem for him as well. He was whistled an average of 4.1 times a night, including two five-foul outings — Game 6 included.

But the most glaring issue which many talked about was his shooting from the charity stripe. He shot 67.3-percent and failed to convert crucial free throws, including two late in Game 3 where he also missed a game-tying lay-up.

As difficult as it was, Perez said that this whole series against the Bolts proved to be a learning curve, which he’ll pick lessons from moving forward.

“Marami pa ‘kong weakness. Hindi pa talaga solid ‘yung laro ko. Marami pa ‘kong kailangang matutunan, at mga kailangan kong trabahuhin,” he said.

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The 2019 Rookie of the Year kept his head up, too, and gave credit to the Bolts, who won their first-ever PBA championship after a 14-year wait.

“Masakit pero ganun talaga ‘yung basketball eh, hindi natin masasabi kung kailan ka mananalo, kung kailan ka matatalo,” said Perez.

“Pero they deserve it,” he added. “Kasi talagang pinaghirapan nila, yung hard work nandun, effort talagang binigay nila. Gustong-gusto nila.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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