CJ Perez clarified that there was no revenge whatsoever in his and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum’s minds, as the Jawbreakers stunned the CEU Scorpions on Tuesday to force a rubber match in their 2018 Aspirants’ Cup quarterfinal series.
Zark’s-Lyceum absorbed an 85-91 defeat to CEU in their elimination round meeting last February 20 in Marikina. Perez had 17 markers in the loss, but failed to save his team, as he missed a pair of treys and freebies in the closing moments.
“Wala namang ano (revenge) kasi nag-focus kami sa sarili namin,” said the 24-year-old guard after their 104-95 victory at the Pasig City Sports Center.
“‘Di kailangan mag-revenge, kailangan talaga mag-focus sa sarili.”
The reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player perfectly epitomized “focus” in the Jawbreakers’ campaign-saving victory. He took over in the final frame, scoring 11 straight to turn an 88-90 deficit to a 99-92 lead with 1:41 left to play.
“Nung last three minutes nag-trust na lang sila coach sa’kin eh. Siyempre para mabalik yung trust nila, kailangan ko ma-make yung baskets ko,” said Perez, who finished with 26 points, alongside five rebounds and five assists.
“And ‘yun, ‘yung puso na lang din talaga kasi CEU sobrang lakas din talaga na team.”
Head coach Topex Robinson insisted that their match against CEU had been a test of character. Perez agrees that they were able to pass the test, but he knows that they can’t be too confident, especially in the do-or-die this Thursday.
“Oo. Pero sa Thursday, meron pang isa,” said the Pangasinense.
“So another test of character na naman, kasi ‘di naman sila basta-basta maggi-give up.”