Rookies/Sophomores team leaned on the all-around effort of CJ Perez and the endgame heroics of Javee Mocon to nip the Juniors team, 141-140, in a thrilling finish to the NxtGen Challenge on PBA All-Star week.
Perez finished with a game-high 32 points and shot 6-of-12 from three-point range while adding eight rebounds and two assists; He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter as the young guns rallied back from a 10-point deficit.
Mocon then made sure Perez’ numbers won’t go for naught as he tipped in the game-winner just before the buzzer, sparking a wild celebration inside the Calasiao Sports Complex.
The victory earned the Rookies/Sophomores P80,000.
“Siyempre nakaka-proud. Sa mga teammates ko, hindi sila tumigil sa paglalaro. Kahit All-Star nag-seryoso pa rin sila,” said Perez, who actually hails from nearby Barbara municipality.
Perez later emerged MVP of the game also supported by Cignal/PBA Rush, Tag Huer, Peak, Molten/Mueller, Gatorade, and Crystal Clear.
Jeron Teng added 19 and Mocon with 18.