Frontrunner Jason Perkins says Rookie of the Year award ‘just a label’

JASON Perkins is undoubtedly the consensus choice to win the PBA Rookie of the Year award in the upcoming 43rd Annual Leo Awards, but it seems like he couldn’t care less.

The former DLSU standout showed no qualms in saying so since his focus is more on what he’ll do in his sophomore year.

“I don’t really have any feelings about it. I’m just excited for next year. Rookie of the Year’s kind of the past right now. I haven’t got it yet but right now I just want to go further in the playoffs,” said Perkins during the first-ever PBA Media Day held at the Solaire Resort and Casino yesterday.

“To me, I see it just as a label.”

Meanwhile, head coach Louie Alas also mentioned that he would be surprised if his prized ward would not be able to bring home the coveted award.

“I will be surprised if he will not win because ‘yung stats niya almost double dun sa second in the running,” said Alas.

Last conference, Perkins saw a steady improvement in his scoring numbers, from an average of 10.9 points per game in the Philippine Cup to 12.9 points per game in the recently concluded Governors’ Cup. His efforts helped the Fuel Masters reach the playoffs in the Governors’ Cup after missing out in the previous two conferences.

Despite achieving early success in his career, he admitted that it was a difficult journey for him in finding his place in the PBA. But with the guidance of his teammates and coaches, somehow things became easier as the days went by.

“It was not easy at all. The work I’d to put in college I had to put twice as much in,” narrated the ROY frontrunner.

“Every day I ask a lot of questions, so I made sure to just keep constantly learning and learning. It was very difficult. These guys, like Willie Wilson, who has been in the league for so long, I have a lot more respect for them now because to see how much it takes a toll on your body as well,” he added.

With the season just around the corner, Perkins’ main focus is for his team to make it very far in the playoffs, and it will all start from establishing great chemistry from his teammates.

“Basically, just learning from each other – especially the younger guys, we have Abueva, the older guys and we got to learn from them. So, constantly just like a sponge right now – taking everything in. I got a taste of it [playoffs] last season, and right now it’s about looking at the whole cake and I’m just trying to make it in the Finals,” he ended.

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