UAAP: Don't forget, FEU has its own super rookie in L-Jay Gonzales

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 03, 2018 07:59 PM
UAAP: Don't forget, FEU has its own super rookie in Gonzales
Slowly but surely, L-Jay Gonzales is making his presence felt as a super rookie for FEU

CJ Cansino and Dave Ildefonso have wasted no time making an immediate impact for University of Sto. Tomas and National University, respectively.

Cansino has averaged 13.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 28.3 minutes of action for the Growling Tigers while Ildefonso has normed 12.8 markers, 4.8 boards, and 1.8 dimes in 26.5 minutes of play for the Bulldogs – both proving their worth as blue-chip recruits.

Of course, it’s no surprise that the two have been this good, this quick as they were both part of the Mythical Team in the UAAP Juniors.

For its part, Far Eastern University has its own UAAP Juniors Mythical selection turned blue-chip recruit, but is yet to unleash him.

Slowly but surely, though, the Tamaraws may be doing just that as prized prospect L-Jay Gonzales played his longest game and turned in his best performance on Wednesday with nine points, one rebound, and one assist in 11 minutes.

This, with per game counts of just 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.1 minutes in the first three games.

For head coach Olsen Racela, Gonzales is just reaping the rewards of being patient. “I have to give credit to L-Jay kasi he’s been very patient. Alam naman natin nung Juniors, gamit na gamit yan, (Finals) MVP yan, but now, he’s playing behind two veterans,” he said.

He then continued, “So kinausap ko naman siya na he should take his time and gusto ko matuto siya sa dalawa. Tapos pag kailangan namin siya, ready siya and today’s game is an example of that.”

As a Baby Tamaraw, the 5-foot-10 guard had per game counts of 13.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 2.5 steals.

Still, now, he has only been heeding the call of his mentor. As he put it, “Hindi naman po ako nafu-frustrate kasi sabi nga ni coach, maghintay ka lang. ‘Di naman ako nagmamadali sa time – patient lang ako sa paghihintay.”

Unlike Cansino and Ildefonso who have been thrown into the fire right out of the gates, Gonzales could benefit from taking his time, learning under veteran guards like Jasper Parker and Axel Inigo.

After all, Gonzales is already better than Olsen Racela was – when Olsen Racela was in his first year in college. “Right now, his skill level is very high compared noong naglaro ako nung first year college, but yung understanding of the game, doon ang kailangan niya ng improvement,” the now-FEU head coach said.

He then continued, “That’s why I like the fact that he’s been playing behind two veterans dahil marami siyang matututunan sa dalawang yun.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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