UP rookie JGDL learning from all the scolding in practice

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 04, 2016 06:31 PM
UP rookie JGDL learning from all the scolding in practice
HOLD ON. Rookie Javi Gomez de Liano has done nothing but impress coach Bo Perasol, the UP community, and the UAAP.

The University of the Philippines is surprisingly sharing possession of fifth-place in the UAAP 79 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Jett Manuel is making the most out of the very last games of his collegiate career. Paul Desiderio has emerged as a double-double threat. Even Gelo Vito has become a sparkplug off the bench.

That’s not all, however, as helping the Fighting Maroons surprise just about everybody is another surprise.

First-year player Javi Gomez de Liano has opened eyes with averages of 5.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in only 11 minutes on the floor.

In State U’s big-time win against National University the last time around, the six-foot-five swingman scored 13 points, including the last free throw that sealed the deal, in just 13 minutes.

Gomez de Liano’s immediate impact has surprised even coach Bo Perasol who quipped, “There have been a lot of time that I get really surprised that he can do those moves. I haven’t seen him do those in practice.”

The first-year mentor then went on to share that their rookie, a Mythical selection in his last year in the Juniors, plays like, well, a rookie during practices and is therefore the apple of his eye. As he put it, “Lagi nga siyang paboritong pagalitan sa practice, pero sa game, (iba).”

He then continued, “Paminsan-minsan lang ako nakakakita ng player na mas magaling sa laro kesa sa practice. Siya yun.”

Indeed the 18-year-old is slowly but surely establishing himself as another building block for what looks to be a brighter future for UP. “Marami siyang nagagawa during games and he’s a picture of composure. Of course, with the leadership of Jett,” Perasol expressed.

For his part, Gomez de Liano said he is only repaying Perasol, Manuel, and the rest of the Maroons’ unyielding faith in him. “Of course, we felt it’s time to give back to Jett and all those veterans. We want them to have a good goodbye,” he said.

Don’t expect pleas for a heavier workload to come from him, however. Asked how he’s handling his role as an energy guy coming off the bench, the softspoken rookie answered, “It’s okay. I’m just here to do whatever coach asks of me.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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