Jasper Parker and Axel Inigo will no longer play for Far Eastern University.
Like they always are, however, the Tamaraws remain full-stocked at the backcourt.
Of course, veterans Hubert Cani and Wendell Comboy are now ready and raring for their turn at the driver’s seat.
And behind those two await a pair of products from the green and gold’s high school program who may very well end up to be the next ones in the school’s long line of great guards.
Already there is L-Jay Gonzales who, in his spot minutes on the floor in his first year in the Seniors squad, already began opening eyes.
Described as a lead guard who has the both the triple-doubling talent and the burst of Russell Westbrook, the 5-foot-9 playmaker flashed glimpses of that as a rookie reserve to the likes of Parker, Inigo, Cani, and Comboy.
And now, Gonzales is just waiting for his Paul George to arrive. “Ako po, excited lang talaga na magkasama kami ulit,” he said.
He was talking about RJ Abarrientos, his former partner-in-crime with the Baby Tamaraws who is finishing up his last playing year in the Juniors.
Three years ago, Gonzales and Abarrientos were key cogs in what was a pleasant surprise of a championship for FEU-Diliman.
Once Abarrientos finishes up with high school and moves on up to college, the two are nothing but determined to bring their school back to the mountaintop in the collegiate ranks. “Nag-usap na nga po kami ni L-Jay tapos sabi niya sa akin, bahala ka muna sa Jrs. kasi pagdating mo naman dito, ako bahala sayo,” RJ, the nephew of Philippine basketball legend Johnny, shared.
He then continued, “Basta pagdating mo rito, ibi-build natin ‘tong bagong FEU.”
Abarrientos can do what Gonzales can on the basketball court, albeit without the same sort of explosiveness. What he does have over his running mate, though, is size – standing at 5-foot-11 and possessing a stocky built.
That is exactly why a backcourt pairing of Gonzales and Abarrientos looks like it will not have any holes. “Sinasabi talaga sa amin, yung connection namin, nung Juniors pa lang, nakita na kung anong magagawa. Sana, mapakita rin namin yun sa Seniors,” Abarrientos said.
Still, all of that is easier said than done and, without a doubt, the L-Jay and RJ connection still has to prove itself when it finally goes online for the FEU Tamaraws. “Siyempre, nakaka-pressure po lalo na sa akin kasi makakasabayan ko po ang isang Abarrientos,” Gonzales said.
He then continued, “Pero pagbubutihan po namin na mag-click ang duo namin.”
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