Perez dedicates PSL title, MVP award to fallen brother
MJ Perez took the floor at Mall of Asia Arena Saturday ready to lead F2 Logistics for a shot at the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix title Saturday.
A smile flashed across her face as she encouraged her teammates to leave everything on the floor for the final game of the season.
She cheered and shouted whenever the Cargo Movers scored a point, but behind the happiness is a sadness she purposely hid.
A day before F2 won the Grand Prix, Perez’s older brother Daniel succumbed to cancer.
“I just walked to my team and told them they shouldn’t think about my loss and I know that I have a big responsibility to my team,” said Perez after she won the MVP and put up 24 points in the 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18 Game 3 win.
“I told them to smile, be strong because I know this is our opportunity to win the title.”
Perez’s willingness to lead F2, despite the grief, left an indelible mark on F2 head coach Ramil De Jesus as the veteran mentor witnessed the sacrifice his player displayed.
“I really salute MJ, actually she didn’t want the team to know, and I don’t know how she handled it all,” said De Jesus. “She didn’t cry, she didn’t looked sad, and she did not show grief in her performance.”
Perez said she didn’t want to look down when she faced her teammates, especially in a game that got meant the season for the franchise, and she wanted to project an air of positivity.
“I don’t want them to be sad and I just want them to be happy and give my best,” said Perez. “This championship and this MVP, I dedicated this to my brother.”
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