By Jonas Terrado
Columbian star CJ Perez paces a group of talented freshmen that made it to the All-Rookie Team which will be handed once the PBA Press Corps determines a date for its annual Awards Night.
Perez, the 2019 Rookie of the Year, is joined by NorthPort’s Robert Bolick, TNT KaTropa’s Ray Parks Jr., Rain or Shine’s Javee Mocon and Alaska’s Abu Tratter in the team which was determined by sportswriters regularly covering the PBA beat.
The Lyceum star stood out as the best first-year player from the previous season, averaging a league-best 20.8 points with 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.9 steals in 33 games.
Despite failing to lead the Dyip to a playoff appearance, Perez’s excellent showing earned him a spot in the league’s Mythical First Team, the first rookie since Calvin Abueva did it with Alaska in the 2012-13 season.
Other players who made the First Team in their inaugural pro season were Toyota’s Arnie Tuadles (1979), Great Taste’s Ricardo Brown (1983) and Allan Caidic (1987), Formula Shell’s Benjie Paras (1989), Ginebra’s Marlou Aquino (1996), San Miguel Beer’s Danny Seigle and Tanduay’s Sonny Alvarado in 1999, Talk ’N Text’s Jimmy Alapag (2003) and Sta. Lucia’s Kelly Williams (2006-07).
Bolick produced 13.5 points, 5.1 assists and 4.9 assists in 32 games with NorthPort. After bucking a slow start, the former San Beda standout helped the Batang Pier register a 9-2 record in the Commissioner’s Cup eliminations before his season was cut short the following conference due to an ACL tear.
Parks played just two conferences, first for Blackwater before being shipped to TNT in November. He tallied 18.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 32 games for both teams.
Mocon was instrumental in Rain or Shine’s semifinal appearances in the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup before finishing the season with averages of 10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 48 games.
Tratter made the team after making an immediate impact when he was acquired by Alaska from Blackwater in a trade before the start of the Governors’ Cup. Tratter averaged 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32 games for the Elite and Aces.