Perez named Rookie of the Month anew

Perez named Rookie of the Month anew

CJ Perez is still performing well despite Columbian's late struggle. PBA Media Group (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA—Despite falling short of a quarterfinals berth in the PBA Philippine Cup, CJ Perez still found a way to stamp his class for Columbian Dyip in the season-opening meet.

Perez averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists to emerge as the PBA Press Corps March Rookie of the Year, a stretch that saw the Dyip very much in contention of making the playoffs only to tumble in the end after a close 101-98 loss to TnT Katropa in their final game of the eliminations.

The Dyip went 1-3 during the month.

It was the second monthly citation received by the 25-year-old top rookie pick of 2018 after initially being picked as the first recipient of the honor for January.

Perez edged out NorthPort’s Robert Bolick in a close vote, 8-6, to earn the citation. Alaska’s Jesper Ayaay (5.4 points and 4.3 rebounds) likewise got a single vote for the citation.

The Batang Pier did make the playoffs following a late push in the eliminations, although Bolick, selected no. 3 overall in the last draft, struggled a bit during the month that saw him submitting averages of 6.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.

NorthPort went 2-3 in that same span.

Javee Mocon of Rain or Shine actually submitted even better numbers by averaging 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.

Picked no. 5 overall, Mocon was the top rookie pick for the month of February.

Although not part of the voting, Perez nonetheless capped the month by emerging as the MVP of the Rookies/Sophomores versus Juniors during the All-Star week in Calasiao, Pangasinan.

The former Lyceum star willed his team to a come-from-behind 141-140 win over the Juniors as he finished with 32 points on 6-of-12 shooting from three-point range, while scoring 18 in the fourth quarter to highlight the comeback.

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