Perez admits 'lack of experience' did Gilas Pilipinas in
FOSHAN, China – CJ Perez owned up to the missed chance that might have given Gilas Pilipinas its first win in the FIBA World Cup – hesitating in the final moments of regulation of the game that saw Angola pull through in overtime.
The Philippines looked primed to wrap up its campaign in Group D on a positive note after having the ball possession with 5 seconds left and the game tied at 73.
Perez, however, could not seize the golden opportunity off an inbound pass as he hesitated whether to pass or to drive with the clock winding down.
By the instant Perez made a decision, there was not enough time left and he was forced to settle for a heavily contested three-pointer from way beyond the arc.
The shot clanked off the rim and Angola eventually hacked out an 84-81 victory.
"It's my decision. I was supposed to drive that. Maybe lack of experience," Perez said in the post-game presser when asked what should have happened in that play.
"But if... I don't know. I think I should [have driven] that. Maybe I can make the shot."
Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao echoed the same sentiments, guessing that Perez might have gotten used how things work in the PBA, where players can call timeouts to have their team set up a strategy.
"It's a little immaturity, it's a little inexperience. It's a little getting used to the international game. He was probably expecting a timeout in that situation," Guiao said.
"In the PBA, that's an automatic timeout. But here, you have to attack. But again, they get so used to that environment, sometimes you can't overturn the habit right away."
Nevertheless, the Philippines would not have been in that potential game-winning situation if not for Perez, who knotted the score at 73 off a triple with 33 seconds remaining.
Perez finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists – continuing to be one of the few bright spots for a team that has been eluded by triumphs.
"For me, it's doing the right thing all the time. Every game, I give my effort and I don't need to do something I'm not [supposed to do]," Perez said.
"The trust of coach Yeng, I feel it. So I give him the credit and I owe my all to coach Yeng."
The Philippines will need Perez to keep up his impressive work as it heads to the classification round in Beijing where it will first face Tunisia. – Rappler.com