Why did Juan GDL fall to sixth round of PBA D-League?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 15, 2019 05:59 PM
Why did Juan GDL fall to sixth round of PBA D-League?
43 players got picked before UP standout Juan GDL

Prior to the 2019 PBA D-League Draft, Juan Gomez de Liano was mentioned alongside Filipino-American high-flyer Joshua Munzon and Adamson University star Sean Manganti as probable top picks.

Come Tuesday at the PBA Office in Libis, Quezon City, though, 43 players were called before the University of the Philippines’ playmaker.

Touted to be a top pick, it took until the sixth round for Gomez de Liano to get drafted.

In comparison, Munzon was selected first overall while Manganti went fourth.

With that, the UAAP 81 Mythical Team member fell to the lap of Chelu Bar and Grill with the 44th overall pick.

Just why was that?

Even the Revellers themselves had to admit they were not 100 percent sure about choosing Gomez de Liano at all. “Yung coaching staff namin, may konting doubt kung papayagan (siya ng) UP. Siguro, preparation nila kasi may incoming players sila like [Kobe] Paras and [Ricci] Rivero so baka ‘di payagan,” head coach Stevenson Tiu said.

Indeed, collegiate players such as the 19-year-old had to have the okay of their mother teams as well as their schools.

And with UP head coach Bo Perasol yet to give a categorical statement, many D-League teams remained wary of using a draft pick on Gomez de Liano.

Even Chelu, the team he wound up with, waited until its sixth selection to get him. “Even us, nagdududa kami kung bakit walang nagpi-pick sa kanya so baka may alam na yung iba na ‘di siya papayagan. We just took a chance,” coach Stevenson said.

He then continued, “Nag-usap na lang kami and sa latter part (ng draft), kung nandun pa siya, we’ll pick him and tignan natin kung papayagan o hindi.”

Nonetheless, the Revellers are hoping that they have just gotten the steal of the draft – getting a UAAP MVP candidate as well as a Gilas cadet at, again, 44th overall. As their mentor put it, “Good catch na yun – kung papayagan siya.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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