The FIBA World Cup may not be so kind to Gilas Pilipinas but rookies CJ Perez and Robert Bolick believes the experience gained playing on the world stage will bode them well moving forward.
Perez and Bolick garnered high praises amid Gilas’ disappointing run for the way they performed despite arriving in China without any experience in FIBA’s biggest showpiece.
For Bolick, getting his feet wet against the likes of crack European teams Italy and Serbia and African teams Angola and Tunisia is something he wants to use as springboard to gain another notch higher.
“Now, alam ko na paano maglaro yung iba. Dami kong natutunan. Hopefully, yung mga natutunan ko sana pa-angat ako ng pa-angat,” the NorthPort guard said.
(I learned a lot from things against our opponents. Hopefully the things I learned will help me take my game to the next level.)
Perez is also eager to take advantage of the World Cup stint after making a strong impression during the first round campaign held in Foshan.
The former Lyceum star registered 13.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists before Gilas faced Iran for its final World Cup assignment Sunday night in Beijing.
Not even his blunder in Gilas’ 84-81 overtime loss to Angola Wednesday in Foshan has taken away the praises Perez got for his fearless attitude, even against taller opponents.
“Yung kumpiyansa mas tataas kasi yung experience namin sa paglalaro dito malaking bagay para sa career ko,” Perez said.
(The experience of playing in the World Cup is very important for my career it’s going to help boost my confidence)
He will likely be one of the crowd-pleasers once he finally puts aside his blue national team jersey for his green Columbian Dyip jersey in the PBA. Perez, however, has refused to embrace his newfound status.
“Yung kasikatan siguro hindi naman napasok sa utak ko yun. Natural, may mga hahanga pero hindi papasok sa utak ko yung naglaro ako dito, dapat ako yung pinamagaling sa PBA,” he said.
(I don’t think fame will get into my head. Naturally, there will be people who will admire you, but I don’t want to think that just because I played in the World Cup that I’m already the best player in the PBA.)
“Di ko naiisip yun. Siyempre humble pa rin tayo. And kung ano tayo noon, dapat ganoon pa rin tayo. Siyempre madaming sasabihin pero sa akin staying humble is key to success,” he added.
(I don’t think about being famous, I have to stay humble and be the same person as I was before. Of course, people will say a lot but for me staying humble is key to success.)