After drawing interest from foreign clubs, Juan GDL considers playing overseas, too
Juan Gomez de Liaño, one of the top amateur guards in the country, said he has been under the radar of ball clubs outside the Philippines.
“There are a few, actually. But nothing’s official so I wouldn’t say it’s an actual one,” he told the Prospects Pod late Friday night.
The spitfire guard, however, said playing overseas is a path that he is considering.
“Personally, it’s been a goal of mine to play overseas especially [since] I have a Spanish passport, too,” he said. “It would be much easier playing for different clubs.”
“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” added Gomez de Liaño, who in early February announced that he would be sitting out Season 83 of the UAAP men’s basketball tournament to focus on his national team stint.
Gomez de Liaño is a member of the UP Fighting Maroons and the Gilas Pilipinas squad that features collegiate stars and incoming Philippine Basketball Association rookies.
Several standouts from the last UAAP season have flown overseas to see action there.
Kenneth Tuffin of the FEU Tamaraws is currently playing for the Taranaki Mountainairs of New Zealand’s National Basketball League. Thirdy Ravena, Gomez de Liaño’s teammate in that young national team, is set to join San-En NeoPhoenix in Japan after spearheading the dynastic Ateneo Blue Eagles.
“I want to make the most out of everything that I have right now, especially when I’m still young,” Gomez de Liaño said.
“[When I’m older] I don’t want to look back and say, ‘I should have done this, I should have done that.’”
Other collegiate cagers currently playing overseas are UE’s Richie Rodger, and FEU’s Joseph Nunag.
East-West Private, the same agency where 7-foot wunderkind Kai Sotto is signed, posted a photo of FEU-Diliman’s Cholo Anonuevo, who is currently in the United States for a training camp.
Such a route is becoming a rosier option for young, privileged Filipino athletes whose careers continue to hang in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Only professionals have been given clearance to return to training, which could pose a problem for amateur stars since this could hamper their growth and development.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has said that young athletes’ decision to play overseas will only help in the growth of the country’s basketball program.
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