MANILA, Philippines – Although the Gomez de Liaño brothers already announced their plan to sit out the next UAAP basketball season, their father says he would like to see all 3 of his boys play together for the University of the Philippines when the collegiate league resumes.
Bert Gomez de Liaño said both he and his wife, Anna, would be excited at the chance of seeing Javi and Juan, together with their other son Joe, as teammates once again, this time in the seniors division.
“I want that to happen. Last time the brothers played, all 3 together, was in high school,” said Bert in the second episode of At the Buzzer, a Rappler sports podcast.
“Who parent wouldn’t want to see them all together?” he said during the 40-minute episode now up on iTunes and Spotify.
After UP’s disappointing defeat to UST in the Final Four of Season 82, uncertainty loomed regarding the return of Juan and Javi, who did not commit to come back for Season 83.
Over the next few weeks, the duo announced they would sit out in order to train with the Gilas national pool.
Both Juan and Javi also agreed to play in the PBA D-League and MPBL after winning an international title with Mighty Sports.
“At the end of the day, when they decided – because they’re already adults – and said, ‘I want to improve my game.’ I think their idea was to ‘magpagaling muna’ (get better),” explained Bert.
The father of 6 used Renzo Subido’s experience as an example for what Javi and Juan aim to do.
Subido, the go-to-guy of UST down the stretch in the Season 82 games, sat out in 2017 to improve his overall performance.
He came back a better and mature player, and he hit the dagger 3-ball that elevated the Tigers past the Maroons in the Final Four last year.
“They felt they needed something more to really bring their A-game. You want to be champions? This is what it takes,” Bert said.
The dad of the GDL brothers confirmed there’s a possibility his two sons could still return for Season 83.
Javi has one more year of eligibility while Juan can play two more seasons. Joe, on the other hand, has all 5 years left.
The eldest of the brothers, Joe has bid his time, training with both UST and UP’s Team B the last 4 years for a shot at making the final lineup of Team A.
There’s a chance Season 83 could finally be the year for the former UPIS standout.
“As a father, they know my stand – my stand is I want it to happen, I want all 3 together,” said Bert.
“Personally, I have a sense of gratitude to the UP community,” Gomez de Liaño also said during the episode. “They were the ones that not only gave good education to my children, but they’re also the community that helped out, are also responsible for where they are right now.”
However, Bert also noted that he will leave the final decision up to his boys, claiming that “they have to find their own destiny.”
“They have to listen inside them and know exactly what they want,” he added, also mentioning that he and his wife will support what Juan and Javi decide to do unconditionally. – Rappler.com
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