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CJ Perez 'not an assurance' of Beermen's success in PBA, says Austria
SMB coach Leo Austria (R) fell short of saying that his new ward in CJ Perez will assure his team a championship
FIBA/PBA

CJ Perez 'not an assurance' of Beermen's success in PBA, says Austria

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - May 12, 2021 - 10:18am

MANILA, Philippines — Coach Leo Austria's arsenal with the San Miguel Beermen has just become a lot stronger with the addition of former No. 1 draft pick CJ Perez.

But having the LPU Pirates product doesn't necessarily mean assured success for the decorated Beermen, at least according to Austria himself.

Though definitely a force to be reckoned with as Perez will connive with Beermen stalwarts like June Mar Fajardo, Terence Romeo and Alex Cabagnot, Austria remains wary of the competition in the PBA.

"There's no doubt that CJ is one of the best players in the PBA right now. Kaya nga siya nakukuha dito sa Gilas eh," said Austria on a recent episode of ONE Sports' The Game.

"But CJ is not an assurance that we will win another championship," he added.

The multi-titled coach, who has led the Beermen to eight titles in the PBA, says a rejuvinated field of opponents is something to look out for.

That although the Beermen are definitely still one of the powerhouses in the league, there is no sure thing when it comes to competing against fellow top-level teams -- especially those who have gained a shot in the arm with new talents in the recent PBA draft.

"It's a lot of hard work," said Austria of chasing another PBA title.

"If you notice, there's a lot of good teams right now in the PBA because of the influx of a lot of good players coming in from the draft," he added.

The Beermen struggled in the PBA bubble last year with injuries marring their six-peat bid for the PBA Philippine Cup.

Though now with Fajardo and Romeo poised to make a healthy return, and with the addition of Perez, the Beermen are a threat now more than ever.

While Austria says its not a sure thing that they will win another chip with Perez in the fold, it'll happen more likely than not.

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