Juan Gomez De Liaño owes triple-double, UP win to brother Javi, coach Perasol
All throughout Juan Gomez De Liaño’s collegiate career, there was always older brother Javi looking out for him be it on the court or off it.
Things, however, were a little different for Juan on Sunday when University of the Philippines took on University of the East in its second round matchup in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.
Older brother Javi wasn’t with the team and was serving his one-game suspension after his combination of technical and unsportsmanlike fouls in the Fighting Maroons’ previous game against Ateneo.
Javi’s absence, though, lit up a fire in Gomez De Liaño as he notched 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists, the first triple-double in the league since UP’s Marvin Cruz put up 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Fighting Maroons’ 98-88 loss to Ateneo on August 20, 2006.
“Our connection wasn’t there but I know he’s supporting the team from home,” said Gomez De Liaño Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan after a 94-81 win over the Red Warriors. “We played for Javi. Big bro just told me to be aggressive.”
Gomez De Liaño’s triple-double not only helped UP stop its two-game skid, it also helped the Fighting Maroons get to a fifth seed tie with University of Santo Tomas with 4-5 records.
Apart from Javi’s absence, there was also another thing that went missing in UP’s second half against the Red Warriors.
Head coach Bo Perasol wasn’t that pleased with how his team performed in the first half after trailing by three, 44-41, and he decided to give the Fighting Maroons the silent treatment come the third and fourth quarters.
“There are times that I need to be quiet also,” said Perasol. “I needed them to think that we don’t need any voice to tell us what to do. They just did their jobs.”
“During the halftime break we knew that we will play for coach Bo so our mindset became a different one come the second half,” said Gomez De Liaño. “He told us something in the dugout so we just wanted to make him happy and play for the community.”
For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.