Juan GDL to sit out UAAP Season 83 for full-time Gilas stint
MANILA, Philippines – After months of speculation, Juan Gomez de Liaño has broken his silence regarding his basketball future.
The UP Fighting Maroons star guard will join his brother Javi in sitting out the upcoming UAAP Season 83 to focus full-time on his stint with Gilas Pilipinas.
"I've talked to my family, people I'm close with. I've decided to sit out this coming season as well," he said during the Mighty Sports victory party in Makati on Thursday, February 6. "More time to focus on Gilas."
"As what I've said, it's a no-brainer. Not everyone has the opportunity to represent and play for Gilas. I'm really gonna take advantage of this. I feel like it's a great start to help me and my basketball career and I'm just really grateful for the opportunity."
The 19-year-old sensation has remained mum on his future with the Maroons ever since the team got bounced out of the Season 82 stepladder semifinals by the UST Growling Tigers.
Since then, he has let his actions do the talking as he immediately expressed his desire to commit to Mighty Sports in international competition following UP's ouster in the playoffs.
But on Thursday night, Gomez de Liaño finally allayed fears of his fans that he's leaving the school he called home for the last 7 years.
"No no, of course not. I'm not closing my doors for Season 84, but as of right now I'm really focused on Gilas, he said. "I wanna represent the country again. It's truly an honor to represent the country."
Juan and Javi have both been selected in the new, youth-filled Gilas pool for the upcoming first window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers and have since started training under interim coach Mark Dickel.
Amid the key losses, the Maroons have been beefing up their roster as the squad secured the commitment of former La Salle Greenhills standout RC Calimag, Fil-Canadian Anton Eusebio, Fil-Aussie Ethan Kirkness, former La Salle player Joel Cagulangan and former CEU big man Malick Diouf. – Rappler.com