Top gun staying
As trade rumors continue to swirl about his prized local, Columbian coach Johnedel Cardel has set the record straight. CJ Perez, runaway leader for this season’s rookie of the year race, isn’t going anywhere.
Columbian, Cardel said, is trying to add to the gains from last year and “building a competitive team.”
“So CJ will stay with us,” said the former La Salle standout.
Perez’s name has helped churn the rumor mill, with the buzz on social media centering on his transfer to a powerhouse.
“Everybody wants CJ Perez to be part of their team,” Cardel said. “But to tell you honestly now, there will be no trade coming from our end.”
Asked if Perez will remain with Columbian when the Philippine Cup opens on March 1, Cardel had one answer: “Guaranteed.”
Cardel also sees a lot of potential in newly recruited rookies Roosevelt Adams, who he views as another version of Perez, and Letran talents Bonbon Batiller and Michael Balagasay. With Perez taking the lead and with the acquisition of veteran stretch big Aldrech Ramos for Jackson Corpuz, Cardel hopes that the team will make a big splash in the coming season.
“We’re hoping that this all-Filipino [conference], we’d do even more better,” he said, telling the Inquirer that Columbian not only hopes to make the Final Four but also win a championship.
The Dyip have only made the playoff once, during the 2015-16 season, where they wound up as fourth seeds.
But that hasn’t stopped the squad from setting lofty goals.
“Who knows? We will never stop dreaming.” INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.