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Perez impresses in Gilas practice, downplays comparisons to Abueva

MANILA, Philippines — Among the notable names in the 23-man Gilas Pilipinas pool for 2023 is Lyceum University star CJ Perez.

And while we all know that he’s a physically talented cager belonging to an equally stellar bunch, the reigning NCAA MVP proved why he deserves to be in the pool for the FIBA World Cup five years from now.

Lyceum University and NCAA league MVP CJ Perez | Philippine Star File Photo
Perez’s handling of himself during the short practice at the Meralco Gym was a stark contrast to that of his humility. He engaged coaches Josh Reyes — who was then filling for his father Chot —  and Jong Uichico as if he has been under their wing for months. He bodied his teammates as if he has been training with them ever since.

His passion was so evident that he drew comparisons to the ever-animated Calvin Abueva.

"'Yung pag compare naman nila sakin kay Calvin, actually sobrang layo kasi ng laro ko sa kanya,” Perez offered. “[I]dol ko talaga siya pero kailangn ko munang marating dun sa [level] niya kasi sobrang experienced niya.”

Author: Denison Rey A. Dalupang, Philippine Star
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