Mendoza: It is Terrafirma’s life

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

THE 46th season of the PBA will not start until April but already, there is recently an off-the-court firework mainly triggered by trade talks tagged outright as a blockbuster once Commissioner Willie Marcial approves it.

For, how would you describe the attempt to ship CJ Perez from Terrafirma to San Miguel Beer?

Business as usual?

Another day in the office?

Tell that to the marines, buddy.

Perez is one of the fastest rising stars in the league, averaging 24.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in just 11 games last season.

And he accomplished those feats while he was only a sophomore in the PBA, after emerging the top Draft pick in 2019 with Terrafirma and proceeding to win Rookie of the Year honors.

What might be Terrafirma’s logical reason to release its most prolific player the last two seasons?

Wasn’t that a bit off-key?

If at all, his impending departure immediately drew mixed reactions, some expressing shock, others simply utterly speechless.

The trade papers, submitted by Terrafirma Governor Bobby Rosales last weekend to the PBA, required four SMB players in the trade with Perez — Matt Rosser-Ganuelas, Russel Escoto, Gelo Alolino and the Beermen’s first-round Draft pick in March.

It’s absolutely a win-win swap for SMB as Perez will all the more add sock to the team’s already lethal lineup.

We may feel that Terrafirma was shortchanged but who are we to judge management’s wisdom in pursuing this deal? For as long as everything is done aboveboard, why raise hell?

It’s hard to let go of CJ, he is a good player,” said Rosales. “But our objective is to find the missing pieces, especially in the coming Draft.”

So there. Missing pieces.

Perez has to be sacrificed to rebuild Terrafirma with new pieces, beginning with Terrafirma having the first crack at the Draft plus nabbing the No. 8 pick from SMB.

“It’s really a big sacrifice and we’re sad,” said Rosales. “But we have to do it for the greater good of our team.”

We’re but mere spectators here.

It’s their team. It’s their own interest. It’s their future. Rosales is like a father rearranging family paths to meet the challenges of the New Year.

How can you question that?

It’s their life.