first_imgColumbian rookie CJ Perez during the opening ceremony of the 2019 PBA season at Philippine Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—CJ Perez dutifully proved that his status as the top overall pick of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft was well deserved.Columbian’s prized rookie starred in his debut game, putting 26 points and grabbing down five rebounds to lead his team to an upset 124-118 win over defending champion San Miguel in the Philippine Cup Friday at Cuneta Astrodome.ADVERTISEMENT Perez, though, almost didn’t have a stellar of a game since he battled through rookie jitters the whole first half scoring just two points in the opening 24 minutes.Sensing that things had to change, Perez went to attack mode in the second half in what he described as one of the most exhilarating feelings he’s ever had on a basketball court.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“It’s a tremendous feeling for me to play in the PBA because this is my first game and San Miguel, of all teams, was our opponent,” said Perez in Filipino. “They’re the top team and it’s a pleasure and also an amazing opportunity for me, for the Columbian team, to perform well against the Beermen.”“That first half was different because when I got to the dugout, when I stepped to the court, and when I got called for the starters’ introduction, I felt a sudden surge of being nervous but I think I was just excited for my first game.” Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Arwind Santos ready to take ‘kind guy’ Terrence Romeo under his wing Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ In front of hometown crowd, Carlos Yulo captures SEA Games gold PLAY LIST 07:01In front of hometown crowd, Carlos Yulo captures SEA Games gold01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch01:04Rombaon grabs bronze in cross country MTB race02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments LATEST STORIES From shooting bricks in the first half, 1-of-8 to be exact, Perez turned it up a notch and had an efficient 7-of-12 clip including a breakaway layup that gave the Dyip a 114-112 lead with less than three minutes left.Perez said that being the no.1 overall pick brings due pressure to his shoulders and he knows that there’s no other way of going around it.“People have high expectations of me and of course there’s pressure that we all have to handle,” said Perez. “I think it wasn’t just because of me that we won. Every single one of us put in the effort, my teammates never stopped, the energy never dipped, and that I think was the key for us.”“It’s heartwarming for me because this is my first game as a Columbian Dyip player and we won against San Miguel nonetheless, I’m just so happy.”ADVERTISEMENTlast_img

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