PBA: Two-time scoring champ Perez will have same mentality in San Miguel Beer

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2021 01:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The touches may become fewer but the mentality will remain the same for CJ Perez, who is set to join powerhouse San Miguel Beer after two seasons with the TerraFirma franchise.

The 27-year-old Perez was recognized Sunday as a two-time scoring champion, having averaged 24.4 points per game for the Dyip during the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup in the bubble.

Come the next PBA season, he will be suiting up for a loaded San Miguel team that also features another former scoring champion in Terrence Romeo, along with six-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, and the squad's vaunted core of Arwind Santos, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, and Alex Cabagnot.

Perez, who received his award virtually during the PBA Press Corps Annual Awards Night on Sunday, said he was ready to adjust his game with the Beermen, while maintaining the same winning mentality.

"Alam naman (ni Coach Leo Austria) na ako 'yung two-time scoring champion. Pero for sure, hindi naman siya 'yung maga-adjust para roon, kasi alam ko naman na ako 'yung maga-adjust para sa team," said Perez.

"For sure, hindi naman na ganun (karami) 'yung touches," he acknowledged. "Pero siyempre, 'di naman magbabago 'yung mentality ko, 'yung desire ko para makapag-panalo ng game at magkapaglaro ng maayos."

Perez attempted just under 20 field goals per game for TerraFirma last conference, but he is ready for that figure to go down with San Miguel, as the team's focal point remains Fajardo.

More than anything, Perez simply wants to figure out what he can contribute to the stacked SMB squad, especially as they try to regain the All-Filipino crown after falling short of a sixth consecutive title last season.

"Iniisip ko kung ano 'yung maitutulong ko talaga sa team," said Perez, who also averaged 6.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for TerraFirma last season.

"'Yun 'yung talagang focus ko, 'yung fini-figure out ko kung ano 'yung kaya kong ibigay sa team, na ikakabuti and ikaka-panalo namin," he said.

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