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    CJ Perez, Columbian Dyip upset San Miguel Beermen

    MANILA, Philippines – CJ Perez is not a top pick for nothing and certainly not a bust as the “Baby Beast” dropped 26 points on San Miguel and Columbian Dyip recorded a 124-118 upset win against the defending champs in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday, January 18 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

    Despite failing in the NCAA Finals twice, CJ Perez still made it to the 2018 PBA Draft with the top pick overall by the Columbian Dyip.

    CJ Perez, Columbian Dyip upset San Miguel Beermen
    Columbian Dyip leaned on super rookie CJ Perez’s 26 points to score an upset win against SMB | Photo Credit: sports.mb.ph

    The 6’3” former LPU Pirate missed a back-to-back jumpers but finally made his first PBA points under the basket against the outstretched arms of June Mar Fajardo at the 8th minute of the game.

    All eyes are on Perez and basketball fans’ expectations are so high after seeing this year’s 3rd pick and Northport’s guard Robert Bolick scored 26 points in his inaugural game against Blackwater on Wednesday while 2nd pick Ray Parks has yet to play for the Elite as he’s bound to finish his Alab Pilipinas - ABL contract.

    After starting for his team, CJ Perez sat on the bench for quite some time as Columbian had the lead courtesy of Jeramy King and Rashawn McCarty.

    Perez finally checked back in with 4 more minutes left in the half as Dyip saw a drastic San Miguel comeback and erased a double-digit lead.

    It seemed that rookie jitters hit Perez too hard as he wrapped up the 1st half with just 2 points as the Beermen enjoyed a 3-point, 54-51 lead heading to the dugout.

    Rookie Perez shrugged off all the pressure and bad luck and drained significant numbers in the third as Columbian overtook San Miguel anew. The “Baby Beast” chipped in 11 3rd quarter markers in Dyip’s offensive blitz.

    Another big name was on the pundits’ radar in this game: Terrence Romeo who was acquired by SMB from TNT during the offseason.

    The “Golden Boy” didn’t do so much impact in his new team as he came off the bench and managed to score only 7 points in 3 quarters compared to his previous games.

    Romeo sustained a mild left ankle sprain before the penultimate quarter closed and was sent to the locker room for further medical evaluation.

    CJ Perez continued to sizzle hot in the 4th quarter as his and the opposing team switched leads and aimed to score their first win of the conference.

    Perez’s first dunk in the league happened at the 6th minute mark off a fastbreak and apparently his 20th point of the game.

    Under 2 minutes of the ballgame, Columbian held onto a 1-point slim advantage and obviously obtained its momentum with the help of CJ Perez and Jackson Corpuz.

    After a lackluster 1st half performance, CJ Perez showed that he’s for real as he matched Robert Bolick’s 26 points couple of days ago and walked off with a 124-118 upset win against the defending All Filipino Cup Champions.

    THE SCORES

    Columbian 124 - Perez 26, Corpuz 21, Celda 15, Reyes 12, Camson 11, Escoto 11, McCarthy 8, Agovida 8, King 7, Calvo 3, Cahilig 2, Khobuntin 0, Faundo 0, Gabriel 0.

    San Miguel 118 - Santos 34, Lassiter 25, Fajardo 16, Cabagnot 12, Nabong 11, Romeo 7, Standhardinger 6, Zamar 3, Ross 2, Pessumal 2, Tubid 0.

    Quarterscores: 24-27, 51-54, 85-86, 124-118.

    — Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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