CJ Perez is officially heading to San Miguel following the approval of the PBA’s five-man trade between Beermen and Terrafirma, the league announced on its website on Tuesday.

/ 3 February 2021

The controversial trade has put to an agreement that in exchange for the 2019 Rookie of the Year and First Mythical Team winner the Beermen will let go of its bench players Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Russel Escoto, Gelo Alolino, as well as SMB’s first-round pick in the 2020 PBA Rookie Draft and 2022 first-round picks which had been modified in the deal.

After two consecutive seasons, Perez, who blossomed into a certified star player, will further boost powerhouse squad San Miguel that includes six-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo, one-time MVP Arwind Santos, scoring champion Terrence Romeo and veterans Marcio Lassiter, Mo Tautuaa, Alex Cabagnot, and Chris Ross.

In two consecutive seasons, 27-year-old was leading in stats for Terrafirma garnering a massive 24.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game in last season’s bubble.

On the other hand, Terrafirma will be joined by role players in center Russel Escoto, guard Gelo Alolino, and forward Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.

The 27-year-old Alolino, who appeared 7 minutes per game, tallied 2.7 points on 44.4 percent shooting to go with 0.7 assists and 0.3 rebounds.

The 28-year-old Escoto played just for 12.2 minutes in 13 games and logged 2.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks.

Ganuelas-Rosser did not see action with the team but tallied 1.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.4 steals in 45 games for San Miguel last 2019 PBA season.

The controversial trade made headlines and criticisms from the fans as they felt that the Beermen were not giving enough to present a fair trade, but Terrafirma head coach Johnedel Cardel insisted that it was, for him, a balanced trade. 

“It’s good. It’s a fair trade. We got big men in Russel and Matt, and Alolino’s a big guard,” Cardel averred.

“We only had one pick in the first round, now we have the No. 8 too, which is better. The rookie draft is very deep, and they’re all very talented,” he added. 

Moreover, Cardel discussed that they are bound to look for its next franchise star in the rookie proceedings set on Mar. 14.

“We all decided to trade away CJ so we can have more choices in this draft. This draft is historic we see about 30 to 40 excellent players. At least now we can see who we’ll get to fill our needs,” Cardel shared.

“We need another CJ to groom. At No. 8, we will get the best talent available. We also need a big man who can stop the likes of June Mar or Greg Slaughter. Those are our needs,” he continued. 

Meanwhile, Perez will not be joining the Beermen right away as he is still with the Gilas Pilipinas’ training bound to the final windows of the Fiba Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Doha, Qatar.