PBA: Rookie Enoch Valdez’s dream matchup turns to reality

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Enoch Valdez of NLEX tries to defend CJ Perez of San Miguel during the PBA Philippine Cup.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Before officially joining NLEX in the PBA last year, one of the things Enoch Valdez was looking forward to the most was facing his idol and fellow Lyceum product CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer.

Valdez finally got his chance on Sunday when the Road Warriors took on the streaking Beermen in the PBA Philippine Cup.

And while NLEX took a 120-103 beating at the hands of San Miguel, Valdez was able to hold his own on the floor.

“I was so motivated and excited earlier. People saw how happy I was playing inside and against my Kuya. It’s like a blessing that I got to reach this moment to play with my idol,” said Valdez in Filipino.

READ: PBA: San Miguel clinches top seed, rips NLEX

Enoch Valdez PBA NLEX

NLEX rookie Enoch Valdez.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

“For me, I wanted to prove that I belong in this league. After the game, that’s when he told me I had a good game. As you saw, he even elbowed my face at one point. We were both really physical.”

Drawing added motivation from his dream matchup with Perez, Valdez fired a conference-high 18 points on top of eight rebounds.

Perez, on the other hand, led San Miguel with 30 points that went with nine rebounds and a couple of steals as the Beermen upped their record to 9-0.

“I will continue to compete in every game, especially when I face off with Kuya CJ [again]. I would’ve wanted to guard him all the way earlier but he still had 30 because of the free throws. By the next conference or if we face them again this season, I will make sure to defend him more.”



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