Fatigue finally caught up on CJ Perez and Zark’s Burger-Lyceum.
Going through the grindhouse for the better part of the last two weeks in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup and the Philippine Collegiate Champions League, the Gilas Pilipinas “23-for-23” cadet admitted that their tough schedule may have lead to to its 85-91 defeat to CEU on Tuesday.
“Maybe, that’s a factor too,” he said in Filipino.
But not one make excuses, Perez knows that the Jawbreakers should know better to manage these circumstances and still compete up until the end.
“We don’t want to make excuses. We have to learn how to finish the games regardless of our situation,” he said.
Perez was largely kept in check in the game, going on a paltry 7-of-20 shooting from the field to wound up with 17 points and eight rebounds against his four turnovers.
His struggles were further typified when he missed two treys and a pair of freebies in the final 13 seconds when Zark’s-Lyceum was trying to mount a belated run.
“Maybe, they really prepared well for me,” said Perez, giving praise to the defensive job by the CEU swingmen. “They know that I’m going to get my touches and I really had to work hard in this game.”
Several things didn’t go the Jawbreakers way with Perez misfiring and Cameroonian big man Mike Nzeusseu staying on the bench due to an ankle injury sustained in the first half, but they refused to go down without a fight.
Despite the loss, which was only Zark’s-Lyceum’s second in six contests, Perez opted to stay positive and look at the game as a a learning curve.
“They were better than us. It was close, but we fell in the end and that’s where we need to learn from,” he said. “It was still a great experience for us. We just have to learn from it.”
The Jawbreakers return to the court next Tuesday against another NCAA rival in Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian.