UAAP: Juan GDL's promise for next year: 'UP will be in the Finals'

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 06, 2018 05:07 PM
GDL's promise for next year: 'UP will be in the Finals'
Juan GDL is as confident and as they come - and that confidence extends to UP's future

Juan Gomez de Liano was a man of his word in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

In the offseason, he said that the University of the Philippines would end its 21-year playoff drought.

On November 14, 2018, that came true as the Fighting Maroons booked a ticket to the Final Four as the third-seed. “I promised ever since offseason na we’re gonna make the Final Four. Here we are,” he said then.

They didn’t stop from there and made a run to the Finals which was a pleasant surprise for just about everybody.

Only, once there, State U ran into a wall named Ateneo de Manila University which swept them for back-to-back championships.

Though that video didn’t look like it, Juan GDL remained upbeat about the future for UP.

So much so that he was ready and raring for a new promise. Asked about their prospects for next year, he answered, full of confidence as always, “UP will be in the Finals, definitely.”

It’s difficult to doubt the Mythical selection as, even with the graduation of team captain Paul Desiderio, the Fighting Maroons remain stacked for foreseeable future as flanking him are still Season MVP Bright Akhuetie, kuya Javi GDL, Will Gozum, and Jun Manzo.

More than that, they will also be welcoming with open arms a pair of Gilas cadets in Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras. “We’ll be good. I think we’ll be good,” Juan GDL said.

Of course, that is never a given and the all-around playmaker said State U will still have to work hard to live up to its billing. “With Ricci and Kobe, yeah. One thing we gotta do is how to jell together, that’s the most important thing,” he said.

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