Finals MVP Gonzales next in long line of promising Baby Tamaraw guards

Finals MVP Gonzales next in long line of promising Baby Tams
HEIR APPARENT. L-Jay Gonzales was, without a doubt, the difference for FEU-Diliman in all of Game 1 and in the final frame of Game 2.

Winning the championship and winning Finals MVP, the smile couldn’t be wiped away from the face of L-Jay Gonzales last Friday.

“Ang sarap ng feeling. Sobrang saya,” was all he could say in the post-win interview after he and Far Eastern University-Diliman swept now-dethroned champion Nazareth School of National University.

The consensus Finals MVP, Gonzales said it was still team glory that mattered most to him. As he put it, “Masarap yung Finals MVP, pero mas masarap pa rin yung championship.”

And that extends to his stat sheet-stuffing averages of 9.5 points, eight assists, and 6.5 rebounds – close to a triple-double. In Game 1 in fact, he had seven points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds.

Still, none of those mattered to him. “’Di ko naman iniisip yun. Gusto ko lang talaga manalo,” he said.

Indeed, more than the numbers, Baby Tamaraws’ head coach Allan Albano said it’s Gonzales’ intangibles that actually make him as promising a talent as they have had. “Actually, siya nga yung nagsasalita sa huddle. Sinasabi niya na depensa tayo tapos tumakbo. Nakakatuwa,” he shared.

This, even though Albano has seasoned veterans like Jack Gloria and Kenji Roman on the team.

Asked what he was telling his teammates during the heat of the battle, he answered, “Sabi ko lang sa kanila, tulong-tulong tayo rito. Paano tayo mananalo kung ‘di tayo magsasama-sama.”

With a second season along with a championship under his belt, Gonzales will be back next year and FEU-Diliman will be his show to run. And all indications point to him being the latest in the school’s line of great guards that includes Johnny Abarrientos, Terrence Romeo, and Mike Tolomia.

For now, however, he just wants to celebrate as he said, “Enjoy muna kami rito.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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