DESPITE losing San Miguel's first game in the PBA 46th season, CJ Perez sees a lot of upsides in the team's campaign to regain the Philippine Cup title.
The two-time scoring champion admitted the Beermen were still adjusting to each other in their 93-87 loss to the Meralco Bolts.
"First game kinakapa pa namin kung paano ilaro yung isa't isa kasi ito ang unang competitive game namin, but it was good naman," said Perez, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds in his debut game with the champion franchise.
Acquired in a trade with Terrafirma, Perez was part of coach Leo Austria's starting unit and helped San Miguel raced to an early 11-point lead.
But the Beermen failed to sustain their fiery start as the Bolts got into the rhythm and never let up despite a late charge by the five-time all-Filipino title holder.
It didn't help any, San Miguel lost high-scoring guard Terrence Romeo to a hyperextended knee early in the fourth quarter.
"Maganda yung start (namin) pero kailangan naming i-sustain yung mga ganun," said Perez.
"Nalayuan lang kami, pero humabol naman (kami)."
The Beermen's effort to bounce back after trailing by as many as 15 down was among the positives Perez noted in the loss.
"Siyempre first game (pa lang naman). Sana sa next game, maganda na ang laro namin," he said.