PBA: Magnolia brings out best in CJ Perez anew in Philippine Cup

PBA: Magnolia brings out best in CJ Perez anew in Philippine Cup derby

/ 04:56 PM April 27, 2024

San Miguel Beermen's CJ Perez in the PBA Philippine Cup against Magnolia

San Miguel Beermen’s CJ Perez in the PBA Philippine Cup against Magnolia. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel’s CJ Perez is seemingly at his best whenever he faces Magnolia.

During the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals a few months ago, Perez won the Finals MVP plum after helping the Beermen take down the Hotshots in six games.

After a few games in the Philippine Cup, San Miguel got to face Magnolia anew and it was almost like the same old tune on a different day.

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READ: PBA: San Miguel hikes unbeaten run to 8-0, fends off Magnolia

Perez shone the brightest in the Beermen’s 98-91 win over the Hotshots at Araneta Coliseum on Friday but it sure wasn’t easy getting there.

Just ask the Lyceum product who was already gassed up in the first half alone.

“First half pa lang, pagod na ‘ko (In the first half alone, they already tired me out),” said Perez after finishing with 25 points, five assists and two rebounds

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But that didn’t seem to matter much for the athletic guard. After all, it was Magnolia’s insane defense that brought out the best in Perez.

READ: CJ Perez riding high after stellar PBA All-Star Game showing

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“Actually, it’s super challenging to face Magnolia because of their physicality and defense. That’s really where you can see your capability as a player,” said the Gilas Pilipinas swingman.

“Maybe there are just some times where I get lucky and I make my shots.”

The 2018 first round draft pick has been consistently on a tear in the PB All-Filipino conference and is also one of the biggest reasons why the Beermen are still undefeated after eight games.

The 2024 Commissioner’s Cup Best Player of the Conference is currently averaging 20.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for San Miguel but he doesn’t plan on stopping at that anytime soon.

“Of course, I want to be consistent every game. Whoever we’re facing, even if it’s not Magnolia, I’ll give my best. I’ll give my whole game for us to win and I don’t want to waste my coaches’ trust in me.”

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Perez and the Beermen look to keep their winning streak alive on Sunday when they take on NLEX at Philsports Arena.

TAGS: CJ Perez, Magnolia Hotshots, PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel Beermen

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