Raking awards from rookie season, CJ Perez shifts focus to winning

Delfin Dioquino
Raking awards from rookie season, CJ Perez shifts focus to winning
Not only did CJ Perez bag the Rookie of the Year plum, he also earned spots in the First Mythical Team and All-Defensive Team

MANILA, Philippines – Expect CJ Perez to be hungrier this PBA season after reaping the rewards of his hard work.

Perez was one of the biggest winners in the recent edition of the PBA Leo Awards as he collected 3 major honors given to the best players in the league.

Not only did the spitfire guard bag the Rookie of the Year plum, he was also included in the First Mythical Team and All-Defensive Team. 

“These awards are confidence boosters for me,” Perez said in a mix of Filipino and English. “It’s like I’ve become hungrier to play basketball.” 

“Many others wanted to win the award but I won it,” he said after being hailed Rookie of the Year over top contenders Robert Bolick and Ray Parks. “It wasn’t easy and I really worked hard for it.” 

Expectations were high for the former Lyceum Pirate coming into the league after he was nabbed the No. 1 overall pick by Columbian in 2018. 

But Perez did not just prove he belonged, he took the league by storm. 

He wrapped up his rookie season as the PBA scoring champion with an average of 20.8 points on top of 7.4 rebounds. 3.4 assists, and 1.9 blocks and emerged as a Most Valuable Player contender. 

“The awards are blessings in my career. For me, they are just results of my hard work. I hope plenty of blessings come my way in the future.” 

With his first season now in the books, Perez has shifted his focus to reaching the playoffs for the first time in his PBA career. 

“I’ll give my best just to win. I’ll do everything for us to make the playoffs. That’s our main goal – to make the playoffs.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.