UAAP: What was lost in the preseason has now been found for Javi GDL
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 07, 2018 08:01 PM
Slowly but surely, Javi GDL is proving to be one of the best sixth men in the league
Javi Gomez de Liano came to play for the University of the Philippines as it gunned for its first winning streak in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Scoring a career-best 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists, the third-year forward was, without a doubt, one of the big reasons why the Fighting Maroons edged out very game National University.
Post-game, however, Javi GDL, humble and softspoken as always, said he could have done much more. “Career game, pero as a player, I played really bad. I’d rate myself like D or F kasi my defense, yung mga tao ko, they got offensive rebounds. That was on me,” he told reporters.
He then continued, “Tapos ayun nga, I missed those free throws.”
Indeed, the second of the four GDLs muffed on two free throws in the last 20 seconds that would have given State U a more comfortable lead and, ultimately, a more comfortable win.
Nonetheless, the breakout game for the player who actually was, at one point, the biggest fish it had caught in recent memory is nothing but a welcome development for UP.
That is even more true for Javi GDL himself who, as it turns out, felt he got lost in the shuffle as the team just continued to load up on weapons. “The preseason, parang I was losing myself. I didn’t know what my role for the teams was so I was left sa bench,” he shared.
Instead of getting down, however, the 6-foot-4 versatile wing only kept pushing himself. “It’s about being positive and patient for me. Being benched, that kinda helped me na rin to work on the things that I lacked,” he said.
He then continued, “It’s all about trusting din kasi I really trust our coaches. Whatever happens, I will just do my part off the bench.”
Now he has gotten his groove back, Javi GDL said this is just the start of his steady ascent. “Honestly, sa team talaga, parang fit ako off the bench kasi I wanna help lead the bench. Sa starting five, nandun na sina Paul [Desiderio], Juan [GDL],” he said.
He then continued, “Kaya I think I belong off the bench talaga.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.