UAAP 82: Yes, there's the stat sheet-stuffing Juan GDL we know
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 23, 2019 02:34 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
In the University of the Philippines' triumph over Adamson University, Juan Gomez de Liano had for himself a breakout game.
That's if head coach Bo Perasol is to be believed. "This is also a breakout game for Juan. He really contributed well not only on offense, but also he was very decent on defense," he said after seeing his third-year playmaker tally 15 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Just three days later, however, Juan GDL did even better, turning in his most complete game thus far 11 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and two steals as the Fighting Maroons, well, fought off National University.
Of course, his mentor himself was nothing but proud to see him do even better. "Maganda pinakita niya. In fact, what's really important about this game is we were able to get him into his groove," he said.
He then continued, "As we're going to play more important games, kailangan namin siya, kailangan namin ang isa't-isa."
After a slow start to the season that saw the 19-year-old average 6.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and a steal through 10 games while mending from various injuries, he has put up per game counts of 13.0 markers, 7.5 boards, 4.0 dimes, and 1.5 pilfers in back-to-back games. "Ang importante dyan is yung nawala kanya, he's doing his best to get it back. Unti-unti, nakukuha na niya," he said.
And coach Bo isn't alone in celebrating Juan GDL's seemingly return to form.
State U legend Paul Desiderio also posted just how welcome the development was.
Yan yung @juan_swish9 na kilala ko!!— Paul Desiderio (@pauldesiderio18) October 23, 2019
For his part, the 6-foot-1 guard said the key to all this is that he just kept moving forward - whatever hurdles were in front of him. As he put it, "The grind doesn't stop. I just kept on working out and tried to get better every day."
And he's not about to stop just yet either. "I hope that it continues. At the rate we're going, my progression and the team's progression, I just think we're gonna get better," he said.
In the end, Juan GDL said whatever happens with his game, he is just on the lookout for what's best for the team. "It's just all about sacrifice. Whatever I do, it's just all about sacrifice," he said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.