CJ Perez of Terrafirma (left) and Calvin Abueva of Phoenix (PBA Images)

Phoenix Super LPG mentor Topex Robinson has encouraged TerraFirma Dyip sophomore CJ Perez to continue fighting after the latter’s team remained winless in the PBA Philippine Cup in Clark, Pampanga.

Robinson’s team dealt Perez and his squad a 116-94 beating that dropped TerraFirma to 0-6 in the standings – the only team yet to score a win in the league’s restart.

Robinson said he told Perez to just continue playing his game.

“I spoke to him after the game,” Robinson told Manila Bulletin in a phone interview Wednesday.

“Nadoon siempre yung frustrations ni CJ, which I understand. If you see his numbers, he’s really giving everything. Kaso wala talagang gaanong support sa kanya (from teammates).”

“I told him to just continue playing, continue what he’s been doing and he knows that, that if he works hard, good things will come his way. He’s a hard worker and he has a bright future in the PBA,” added Robinson, who coached Perez with the LPU Pirates that twice played in the NCAA Finals.

Perez, 26, bagged MVP honors in the NCAA back in 2017 with Lyceum of the Philippines, and the following year, he was selected No. 1 overall by Columbian Dyip – now terraFirma.

He was named PBA Rookie of the Year in 2019.

Perez finished with 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists against Phoenix.

Guard Juami Tiongson and center Eric Camson managed to score double figures with 15 and 11 points, respectively, but they were the only support Perez got from teammates.

For the Fuel Masters, sharpshooter Matthew Wright exploded for 33 points, while guards RJ Jazul and Brian Heruela came off the bench to contribute a combined 30 of the team’s 41 points.

Jason Perkins added 14 points, while Calvin Abueva – the player Perez was often compared when he was still in college – had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the two faced-off for the first time.

Robinson said that prior to the game, he challenged Abueva in his match up against Perez.

“They both are different in so many ways, but at the end of the day, both players, they just want to be better. Kita naman on how they competed against each other during the game,” he said.

“I actually challenged Calvin. While he was not playing (due to suspension), it was CJ all about. He won the Rookie of the Year, and he played for Gilas.”

“I told Calvin na mas mage-gauge niya kung nasaan na ba siya in his return playing against CJ,” said Robinson.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/11/04/robinson-gives-former-player-perez-words-of-encouragement/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=robinson-gives-former-player-perez-words-of-encouragement)