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Tiebreaker Times


PBA POW CJ Perez steps up for JMF

San Miguel was in desperate need of a go-to player when their star center June Mar Fajardo was sidelined with an MCL sprain.

The team’s fate hung in the balance as they entered the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs.

But CJ Perez stepped up to the challenge and led the Beermen to the semifinals.

Perez displayed leadership and excellent performance in the most critical moments, leading the Beermen to a pair of impressive victories at the end of the eliminations and the beginning of the playoffs.

He lifted the team to a 3-0 record in a week, culminating in a convincing 121-105 triumph over Converge in the quarterfinals.

Perez, who hails from Pangasinan, showcased his all-around skills and posted impressive averages of 23.0 points on 55-percent shooting, 10.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 3.3 steals in three games. His performance was enough to earn him the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award for the period of March 8-15.

In the quarterfinals, Perez scored 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out five assists, and recorded five steals, leading the twice-to-beat Beermen to an easy win over Converge. The victory set up a semifinal clash against their sibling rivals, the reigning champion Ginebra.

Before the quarterfinals, Perez had already shown his brilliance in the Beermen’s last two elimination games against NLEX and Rain or Shine, securing the No. 2 seed.

In the game against NLEX, Perez fired 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds, recorded four assists, and notched two steals. And in the game against Rain or Shine, he had 20 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and three steals.

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Perez’s outstanding performances were remarkable, considering his busy schedule with Gilas Pilipinas.

He had played in the last window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, the East Asia Super League (EASL) Champions Week in Japan, and the PBA All-Star in Iloilo just a week ago.

Perez beat out his San Miguel teammate Vic Manuel, Roger Pogoy of TNT, and Christian Standhardinger of Barangay Ginebra to win the weekly award from the group of print and online media regularly covering the PBA beat.

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