Playing in their first game in the PBA D-League, both CJ Perez and Jaycee Marcelino agreed that they are facing a brand new beast in the developmental ranks in this stint with Zark’s Burger-Lyceum.
“The play in the D-League is really different from that of the NCAA,” said Perez, the NCAA Season 93 MVP, in Filipino after wrapping up his first game in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
Marcelino, the Season’s Rookie of the Year, couldn’t agree more.
“In the NCAA, everybody is on our level. Here, we’re playing against veterans, so we can’t say that we can replicate what we did in the NCAA.”
Expected to figure among the contenders this first conference, the Jawbreakers admitted that it still takes time before all of them adjust to the rigors of this new endeavor.
“We’re still adjusting,” said Perez. “We just returned to practice and this was only our second game in the year, so we’re still confused at times on the floor.”
Marcelino also added: “We’re still finding our way. We’re facing veterans so it’s really a new challenge for us. Eventually, we’ll get our bearings back.”
Zark’s Burger-Lyceum lost grip of the game late in the second quarter as Marinerong Pilipino jumped to a 47-35 halftime lead which extended to a 56-39 advantage early in the third quarter.
Though Perez and Marcelino carried the Jawbreakers back in the game and got in within two numerous times in the last two minutes, they could not deliver the victory, losing to the Skippers, 94-92.
Despite the opening day loss, Zark’s Burger-Lyceum is keeping its hopes up as it seeks to recover in its next assignment against Batangas-EAC on Tuesday.
“We need to do extra work so that we could sustain what we did in Lyceum,” said Marcelino.
Perez chimed in: “We just need to be tougher.”