MANILA, Philippines – For the second time in the NCAA Season 93 men's basketball tournament, Lyceum star CJ Perez has earned the NCAA Press Corps Chooks-to-Go Player of the Week award.
This, after showcasing his athleticism, tenacity, and leadership in leading the Pirates to a 2-0 record in the past week.
Perez averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 steals in their two games, but it was his performance against San Sebastian last Friday that clinched the weekly award for him.
He poured in a career-high 28 points while also adding 10 rebounds to lead Lyceum to a 78-73 victory over the Golden Stags, keeping their record spotless at 15-0.
"Kailangan talagang pagtrabahuhan ang mga ganitong bagay. Siguro, lucky lang talaga ako today. Maganda gising ko, kaya ganoon," Perez said modestly after his superb game.
Perez scored nine points in the pivotal fourth quarter as the Pirates held off the gritty Stags. The versatile forward also showed off his skills on the defensive end as he racked up four steals and one block, while helping guard San Sebastian's formidable frontline.
"I appreciate how we fought," said LPU coach Topex Robinson. "We just stood our ground."
The Pirates have only three games left on their schedule as they hope to sweep the elimination round. The task may seem overwhelming, but Perez and the Pirates are up to the challenge.
"Happy thoughts – ganun lang palagi. Yung mga pinaguusapan namin sa loob," said Perez of their mindset and attitude on the court. "Focus lang sa sarili namin, saka enjoy lang talaga namin every game kahit down na, enjoy pa rin."
Perez bested teammate MJ Ayaay, Bong Quinto of the Letran Knights, and Laurenz Victoria of the Mapua Cardinals for the weekly individual plum.
The Pirates' astonishing 15-0 record is the second-best start in NCAA history, right behind the San Beda Red Lions' 18-0 run back in Season 86.
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