San Sebastian is currently one of the hottest teams in the NCAA right now and the resurgent performance of Jaymar “CJ” Perez is one of the reasons for that.
Following a masterful performance wherein he single-handily carried San Sebastian past Lyceum, Perez gets the nod as the ACCEL/3XVI NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week the week supported by Gatorade.
The 19 year old rookie out of Pangasinan led the Stags to their fourth straight victory after exploding for 28 points, 11 boards and adding three steals to spike his dominant performance.
What made it all the more impressive is that he did it minus three key players – Jamil Ortouste sat out because of a flu, Leo de Vera served a one game suspension and Bradwyn Guinto was still recovering from a bad case of Typhoid.
The win upped the Stags’ record to 8-5, two full games ahead of fifth running Emilio Aguinaldo College.
Dubbed as the “New Beast”, as an obvious reference to former San Sebastian Stag Calvin Abueva, Perez had his fair share of struggles midway through the season, particularly in their three game losing skid to end the first round.
But Perez slowly regained his form in the second round, putting up 19 points and 10 rebounds in their win against Mapua a week ago, before carrying the Stags past the Pirates in a beastly performance.
Topex Robinson understands the value of the rookie in his program but also said that Perez’ struggles are expected.
“CJ is such a talented player but he’s still young. He will have his struggles, he will have bad games but I cannot and will not give up on him,” Robinson said.
Perez for his part said that he’s just returning the trust that his coach puts in him and also credited his teammates for stepping up when needed.
“Malaking bagay yung tiwala ni Coach. Pero siyempre di ko naman magagawa to ng wala yung teammates ko,” Perez said.
“Mahirap, pero nandito naman kami lahat, nagtutulungan, kaya mas madali na para sa amin,” he added.
In a league full of brilliant rookies, Perez is one of the rookies who shine the most as he averages 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game.
Perez snagged the player of the week award from Perpetual’s Harold Arboleda who finished with 17 points and 12 boards and Juneric Baloria who finished with 18 points, three blocks and three steals in their 73-65 win against Mapua and Emilio Aguinaldo’s Jolas Paguia who finished with 16 points on four triples in their upset victory against Letran.