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CJ Perez questions reversed foul call versus Cliff Hodge

In CJ Perez’s viewpoint, playoff fouls weren’t given any pass in Game 1 of the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday night.

Thus, the frustration on his part as the star guard got into foul trouble early in the match, which affected not just him but San Miguel as a whole.

Malaking epekto ‘yun,” he lamented moments after emerging from the dugout of the SMART Araneta Coliseum in the aftermath of their 93-86 loss.

“Finals ngayon eh, hindi dapat matatawagan ‘yung mga ganun kaninipis na foul.”

Perez was already called for four personal fouls in the first half, the last of which was a charging infraction at the 2:29-mark of the second quarter that truly disappointed the one-time BPC and the Beermen coaching staff.

The referees initially called a blocking foul on opposing big man Cliff Hodge but the Bolts staff challenged the call, which was eventually overturned.

2024-PBA-Philippine-Cup-Finals-Game-1-Meralco-def-San-Miguel-CJ-Perez-1 CJ Perez questions reversed foul call versus Cliff Hodge Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news“Hindi ko rin alam kung paano nila aanuhin ‘yung mga sa referee. Pero I think kung successful ‘yung challenge nila, I think that’s a jump ball,” he said.

Perez would sit on the bench until the midway mark of the third canto and his absence became an opportunity for Meralco to go toe-to-toe with the defending champions after being down by 10 points twice in the period prior.

He tried to help save SMB but it proved to be too late as the Bolts gained enough momentum to own the fourth quarter, eventually taking the 1-0 lead.

After scoring 51 points in the first two quarters, Coach Jorge Gallent’s wards were held to only 35 in the second half, which was the lowest they had in any half this conference, according to league stats chief Fidel Mangonon III.

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Perez lamented a litany of things behind the loss, which was also their second to Meralco in this conference alone after absorbing a 95-92 defeat in the eliminations last May 4 that snapped their unbeaten 10-game win streak.

“Dami naming turnovers,” he said as the team committed 19 turnovers, which was more than the assists they had as a whole (18).

“We’re not moving the ball well. Sa energy and offensive rebounds, doon kami natalo. I think Cliff [Hodge], may siyam na offensive rebounds siya. Malaki ‘yon. Malaki ‘yon. Kaya kailangan namin i-match ‘yung energy nila.”

But it’s on to the next for the rest of the unit and Perez himself is keen on defending better to avoid being hounded by foul trouble again.

“Siyempre, Finals ‘to, kailangan natin dumipensa ng maayos,” said the 30-year-old product of Lyceum, who finished with 20 points and seven rebounds.

“Magfo-focus kami sa Game 2, mahaba-habang series pa ‘to. Makakapag-prepare kami ng maayos.”

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