Jason Perkins has always been a steady contributor for the Cignal-San Beda HD Hawkeyes all throughout the 2017 PBA Aspirants’ Cup, but in Game Two of their semis clash with Tanduay Thursday night, he went full hero mode.
Cignal-San Beda were off to a great start and led all through out, but it all changed come the game’s final quarter. They lost their grip on a wide 70-58 lead with eight minutes to go, due to a fiery 20-7 scoring tear by the Rhum Masters.
Luckily for the HD Hawkeyes, the La Salle standout showed up.
In the last 2:42 and with Cignal behind, 78-77, Perkins nailed two triples to lift Cignal, 83-80. From there, Tanduay never had the chance at another comeback.
The HD Hawkeyes saved their campaign with an 89-86 victory over the Rhum Masters to extend the series to a deciding Game Three. And if it weren’t for the clutch Perkins, their run would have been halted abruptly.
For the 24-year-old, who finished with 15 markers, his confidence to hit those big-time treys in the clutch stems from the encouragement of Cignal head coach Boyet Fernandez.
“Pretty much we just stick to it. Coach Boyet encouraged us,” said Perkins shortly after the match.
“He said shoot it when we’re open, and it fell.
“Pamboy and Ben and all the players really stepped up,” Perkins added, also giving credit to the stellar play of Pamboy Raymundo and Ben Adamos in the campaign-saving win.
Asked if the 66-55 defeat they had back in Game One helped Cignal play better for Game Two, the Minnesota-born believes so.
“Definitely. On the bright side, it helped and showed us what to work on and what adjustments to make. It made us a better team,” cited the 6-foot-4 stretch big.
And now, Perkins and Cignal are looking forward to their do-or-die game on Tuesday, with the Finals ticket on the line.
“I love these kind of games. I think we’re good. Everyone seems really excited,” said Perkins.