After two seasons with the Dyip, superstar forward and 2019 Rookie of the Year CJ Perez is officially headed to San Miguel after the PBA Commissioner’s Office approved the proposed trade between Terrafirma and San Miguel Beer on Tuesday.
In exchange for Perez, SMB will send out three role players in big man Russel Escoto, who saw action for 12.2 minutes in 13 games and tallied 2.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks; guard Gelo Alolino, who played just seven minutes per game in seven games and logged 2.7 points and 44.4 percent shooting to go with 0.7 assists and 0.3 rebounds, and forward Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, who did not play in the PBA bubble but managed 1.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.4 steals in 45 games for the Beermen during the 2019 PBA season.
Aside from this, the Beermen’s two first-round picks in the upcoming 2020 (46th Season) and 2022 (48th Season) PBA Draft are also included in the deal.
In the current draft, San Miguel holds the eighth pick. Originally only the 2020 pick was included.
Amidst the fuss surrounding his transfer from Terrafirma Dyip to the Beermen, 27-year-old Perez’s focus remains on the Gilas training pool’s preparation for the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, which will happen two weeks from now. Perez is now locked in with the national team in the Calamba bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy. The team will be leaving for Doha, Qatar, two or three days before the February 18 to 22 meet.
In an interview with the sports program “The Game,” Perez, former NCAA MVP out of Lyceum, said: “Actually, mas iniisip ko yung training dito (Inspire). Kasi nacha-challenge yung mental toughness (mo). At physical talaga, napapasubo ako dito.”
“Hindi ko na iniisip yung mga yun kasi kailangan kong mag-focus dito sa Gilas,” added the 6-foot-2 wingman Perez who also admitted that somehow the trade talks were a distraction to him.
Meanwhile, for his part, Terrafirma head coach Johnedel Cardel said in an interview: “It’s good. It’s a fair trade. We got big men in Russel and Matt, and Alolino’s a big guard. We only had one pick in the first round, now we have the No. 8 too, which is better. The rookie draft is very deep, and they’re all very talented.”
“We all decided to trade away CJ so we can have more choices in this draft. This draft is historic — we see about 30 to 40 excellent players. At least now we can see who we’ll get to fill our needs,” Cardel added.
“We need another CJ to groom. At No. 8, we will get the best talent available. We also need a big man who can stop the likes of June Mar or Greg Slaughter. Those are our needs,” Cardel further stressed.