Coach Leo Austria refused to describe CJ Perez as possibly the missing piece in San Miguel Beer’s elusive quest for a PBA Grand Slam.
“We’ll it’s hard to tell dahil maraming beses na kami nag-try pero di nangyari yun. We’re thinking of one game at a time,” Austria said when asked by former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on the latter’s program Power and Play.
But Austria has no doubt that Perez brings a different kind of dimension to an already-talented SMB squad that is aiming to erase the bitter memory of last year’s PBA bubble and return to its usual place in the winner’s circle.
“Alam naman natin na pag kami pagdating sa energy, medyo nagpapacing kami lagi dahil itong mga nakaraang season we’re always in the playoffs or finals kaya napapagod yung mga players,” Austria said.
“Kaya maganda yung pagdating niya kasi yung energy niya kakaiba and alam naman natin that he wants to win a championship so wala kang nakikita na magrerelax itong batang ito.
“And then, yung hinahanap ng team na mapoprovide niya, malaking tulong. Yun ang makikita natin kay CJ,” added Austria.
The upcoming start of scrimmages in areas under General Community Quarantine will finally give SMB the opportunity to see how Perez can mesh with the lineup led by the core of past championship teams and other key additions from recent campaigns.
June Mar Fajardo is set to return from a shin injury while Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot are out to atone for SMB’s injury-riddle Philippine Cup.
Mo Tautuaa emerged as one of SMB’s top players during that campaign while Terrence Romeo is also slated to return from a shoulder injury that cut short his stay in the bubble.