CJ Perez debuts for Ateneo vs Letran; Ateneo-DLSU on May 29
by rick olivares pic by JJ Javelosa
The Ateneo Blue Eagles face one stern test after another this weekend when they battle the reigning NCAA champions, Letran, in the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup on Thursday, May 26, and undefeated La Salle on Sunday, May 29, at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
First off for the Blue Eagles (1-1) is Letran (2-2) who will face a familiar foe in CJ Perez who will be making his tournament debut for Ateneo. Perez played for the San Sebastian Stags for two seasons before taking his talents to Loyola Heights.
The high-leaping Perez was a part of former San Sebastian’s coach Topex Robinson’s first recruited batch of Stags following the graduation of their sainted trio of Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual, and Ian Sangalang. Perez along with Jamil Ortuoste, Bradwyn Guinto, and Leo De Vera led San Sebastian to consecutive Final Four finishes in NCAA Seasons 88 and 89. Now the 22-year old 6’1” swingman from Pangasinan is expected to give the Blue Eagles a massive lift with his all-around game and its go-to player following the graduation of Kiefer Ravena.
As a glimpse of Perez’ impact, he led Ateneo’s Team B to a Fr. Martin’s Cup and Milcu Got Skills championships.
Also making his return to the Ateneo line-up is second year point guard Hubert Cani. Along with Perez, the two had to take care of their academics before being cleared to play.
Tip off between Ateneo and Letran is at 5pm.
Next on deck for Ateneo are the red-hot La Salle Green Archers who boast on an unblemished 4-0 record behind their solid one-two punch of Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng.
Sunday’s schedule has been adjusted with the explosive Letran-San Beda game at 2pm and Ateneo-La Salle at 4pm. The Mapua-UE match is at 6pm while the CSB-FEU match is still at 11:15am.
In other seniors matches for Premier Cup Thursday, May 26, Emilio Aguinaldo College looks to build on their huge win over UP last when when they take on winless College of Saint Benilde at 1:30pm.
A pair of teams coming off losses, Mapua and San Beda square off at 3:15pm. Mapua, lost to Adamson, 85-81, will finally have a full crew as do-it-all center Allwell Oraeme returns to action after serving a one-match suspension for an altercation with La Salle’s Kib Montalbo. The Red Lions succumbed to their first loss in three outings against a red-hot La Salle squad, 94-85.
Tickets to the Filoil Flying V Premier Cup matches can be purchased at the gate of the Filoil Flying V Centre or through Ticketnet.