IT’S CJ Perez’s time in the PBA.
Perez scored a team-high 26 points in his much-awaited debut as Columbian Dyip pulled off a stunning 124-118 win over defending champion San Miguel Beer in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City..
Perez, the No . 1 draft pick overall, struck hardest in the second half when he scored 24 points to lead the Johnedel Cardel-mentored Dyip to a shock victory over the Beermen.
Perez, widely considered as a game-changer even since his Lyceum of the Philippines days in the NCAA, was at his best in the second half enough to earn the praise of Cardel and the coaching staff.
The 25-year-old MVP went 8-of-14 from the floor in the final 24 minutes in a strong debut that matched the 26-point performance of NCAA rival Robert Bolick in NorthPort’s victory over Blackwater last Wednesday.
Perez was just 1-of-6 in the first half.
Medyo tight sa simula. Pero kilala ko siya since nasa Lyceum pa siya. I trusted him and I told him na dalhin niya ang mga teammates niya. He did,” said Cardel, referring to Perez.
It was not all Perez, however, for Columbian.
Jackson Corpuz added 21 points, including eight in the fourth period, 11 rebounds and thre blocks, while Reden Celda contributed 15 points.
Arwind Santos topscored for San Miguel with a career-high-tying 34 points.
Marcio Lassiter added 25 points and five-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Beermen.
But Fajardo made only 4-of-9 from the free trow and committed seven turnovers
Three-time scoring champion Terrence Romeo had a forgettable debut for the Beermen with only seven points in only 12 minutes while dealing with an injury in the third quarter.
Romeo was earlier the subject of scathing comments of Alaska Milk coach Alex Comption following his trade to SanMiguel.
SMB officials, however, branded the accusations of Comption as “ unfortunate and unnecessary .”
Columbian (124) -- Perez 26, Corpuz 21, Celda 15, Reyes 12, Camson 11, Escoto 11, McCarthy 8, Agovida 8, King 7, Calvo 3, Cahilig 2, Khobuntin 0, Faundo 0, Gabriel 0.
San Miguel (118) -- Santos 34, Lassiter 25, Fajardo 16, Cabagnot 12, Nabong 11, Romeo 7, Standhardinger 6, Zamar 3, Ross 2, Pessumal 2, Tubid 0.
Quarterscores: 24-27, 51-54, 85-86, 124-118.