MANILA – Even though his team fell short of a quarterfinals berth in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, CJ Perez still found a way to stamp his class in his first conference in the pro league.
Perez averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists to emerge as the PBA Press Corps' Rookie of the Month selection for March.
In that stretch, the Dyip rose to playoff contention only to falter at the finish line with a close 101-98 defeat to TNT KaTropa in their final game of the elimination round.
The Dyip went 1-3 during the month.
This is the second time that the 25-year-old rookie won the monthly citation, having been the first recipient of the honor back in March.
Perez, the top overall pick in the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, edged NorthPort's Robert Bolick in a close 8-6 vote to earn the citation. Alaska's Jesper Ayaay (5.4 points, 4.3 rebounds) got a single vote as well.
The Batang Pier made the playoffs following a late push in the eliminations. Bolick, the No. 3 overall pick, averaged 6.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists during the month wherein NorthPort went 2-3.
Javee Mocon of Rain or Shine, for his part, averaged 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. The 5th overall pick was the top rookie for the month of February.
Perez also emerged as the MVP of the Rookies/Sophomores vs. Juniors game during the All-Star Week in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
The former NCAA MVP from Lyceum willed his team to a come-from-behind 141-140 victory, finishing with 32 points on 6-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. He scored 18 po8ints in the fourth quarter to spark their comeback.
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