Javi Gomez De Liano commits to UP: ‘The school has been good to me’
MANILA, Philippines – UPIS standout Javi Gomez De Liano isn’t going anywhere.
The 6-foot-5, 17-year-old talent confirmed to Rappler on Wednesday, March 23, that he has committed to play college basketball for the UP Fighting Maroons in the seniors division of the UAAP.
Gomez De Liano played his high school hoops for UP’s juniors team, and in the latest season was named to the league’s Mythical 5 after posting averages of 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.
During the SLAM Rising Stars game this past Sunday, the elder of the Gomez De Liano brothers posted 6 points and 6 rebounds while displaying the type of versatility that can make him a dangerous college player with some development.
Gomez De Liano told Rappler this past Saturday that he was practicing with UP, but saw a good fit with the UST Growling Tigers. Nonetheless, he’s ultimately decided to stick with State U.
“The school has been good to me. [I] might as well give back in return,” he said to Rappler via message.
“It was a very tough decision to be honest, but I looked back and realized I wouldn't be here if it wasn’t for [UP]. Just a gratitude in return i guess.”
The Maroons enjoyed their most successful UAAP campaign in years during Season 78 with a 3-11 record under new head coach Rensy Bajar.
It’s uncertain yet if Bajar will return to coach the team, with noise of former Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Bo Perasol possibly taking over being floated around as well.
“I'm really excited to represent UP for Season 79,” said Gomez De Liano. “I’ll be playing the shooting guard position and maybe small forward.”
While UPIS relied on both him and his younger brother Juan for scoring during its latest campaign, Gomez De Liano knows that won’t be his biggest assignment right away in the collegiate level.
“I know I won't be the primary scorer [right away]. I could help by making plays, dishing good passes and hitting those threes.
“It's a rebuilding team, so I really want to help out this coming season.”
His studies will come first, Gomez De Liano assures.
“And of course, the education here is one of my main criteria [for] going here.” – Rappler.com