CJ Perez has apparently read all the stories about Calvin Abueva’s piece of advice for him now that he’s in the pros, and he welcomes it.
Last Wednesday, Abueva offered his two cents regarding 2018’s top pick moments after his Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters defeated Perez’s Columbian Dyip, 108-98, to a franchise-record 3-0 start in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
“Actually, noong college nakikita ko. Pero wag siyang masyadong guarantee sa mga nilalaro niya ngayon,” Abueva remarked about Perez, who he treats as his brother.
“Dapat, i-force niya pa, i-push niya pa, para mas mag high level pa yung galawan niya sa loob.”
“Yun yung magandang advice na maririnig mo kasi siya matagal na siya sa PBA,” Perez said. “Alam niya kung ano yung mga kailangan i-adjust.
“Siyempre as a rookie kailangan mo makinig sa mga payo ng mga nakakatanda sa’yo.”
Perez and Abueva have long been compared to one another.
It all started around 2012, when Perez was baptized as the ‘Baby Beast’ by the late Rolly Manlapaz during his early years with the San Sebastian Stags — the very same program that the original ‘Beast’ Abueva helped win its last NCAA championship in 2009.
Both Abueva and Perez have been NCAA Most Valuable Players as well. Abueva won the plum in 2011, while Perez won his in 2017 with the Lyceum Pirates.
But when they went head-to-head in the pro ranks last Wednesday, Abueva had clearly been the triumphant. He had 16 points and nine rebounds, while limiting Perez to just 10 points. Perez though had eight boards and six assists.
That loss, apparently, sparked the fire within Perez. Two nights later, Perez redeemed himself, finishing with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals to help his Columbian win over NorthPort Batang Pier, 110-100.
Perez had also gotten the best of his college rival Robert Bolick in Friday night’s win, as the San Beda Red Lion only finished with three points. Bolick however had seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals as well.
“Good effort sa buong team kasi ‘di kami masyadong nakapaghanda dun sa gagawin ng Northport pero yung effort andun.”