FIBA World Cup

Chot Reyes explains as CJ Perez sits out loss vs Dominican Republic

Delfin Dioquino

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Chot Reyes explains as CJ Perez sits out loss vs Dominican Republic

PREPARE. CJ Perez of Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


CJ Perez ends up as the only player to sit out Gilas Pilipinas' loss to Dominican Republic to open the FIBA World Cup

MANILA, Philippines – The circumstances just did not favor CJ Perez.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said he found no opportunity to field in Perez as the San Miguel star ended up as the only player to sit out the 87-81 loss to Dominican Republic to open the FIBA World Cup on Friday, August 25.

Jordan Clarkson and Dwight Ramos shared the backcourt duties as they both saw action for over 30 minutes, with Kiefer Ravena and Scottie Thompson coming in as replacements.

“It was just the ebb and flow of the ball game. I felt the guys who were inside were playing really well and we were right in the ball game,” said Reyes.

“We need CJ when we have a scoring drought and we need to get something happen on the court.”

It has been a vastly different World Cup experience for Perez four years since he debuted on the global stage in China four years ago.

The spitfire guard led all Gilas Pilipinas locals in scoring in the previous World Cup as he averaged 12.6 points, just behind the team-leading 15.8 points of naturalized player Andray Blatche.

Reyes could have given Perez playing time for an offensive spark when Clarkson fouled out with 3:30 minutes left but decided against it.

Like Perez, big man Kai Sotto also rode the bench and logged in just 1 minute and 13 seconds after picking up two early fouls.

“At that point, I thought it was too late to insert somebody who was ice-cold from the bench. When the situation calls for it, I’m pretty sure in the next game, CJ and even Kai should be ready,” Reyes said.

Perez can earn his minutes as Gilas Pilipinas battles Angola on Sunday, August 27, for a chance to end its near decade-long World Cup skid. –

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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.