UAAP: L-Jay Gonzales ‘happy’ to finish final season despite injuries
MANILA, Philippines—L-Jay Gonzales’ UAAP career didn’t end the way he would’ve wanted to on Saturday.
Gonzales fouled out in the dying seconds of Far Eastern University’s 57-53 loss to University of Santo Tomas and went back to the bench with a towel hanging over his head.
But don’t let the cameras fool you. Behind that look of sadness and despair was joy since he finished his collegiate career with the alma mater he loves.
“I had so much joy mixed with a little bit of sadness because I won’t be able to return here in the UAAP but I’m happy that I finished the season well despite my injuries. I chose to play because I wanted to share what I have in the UAAP,” said Gonzales.
“I’m happy that my coaches helped me and they’re always there to give me some advice and I’m thankful for the FEU community.”
Gonzales didn’t have a colorful UAAP conclusion after finishing with only four points. But he did collect six rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.
Still, his subpar performance didn’t hamper his exit knowing the Tamaraws fought until the end before they were beaten by the worst team in the league.
Gonzales was also proud of FEU’s young guns.
“I just told them to give their best because winning is already in their minds and I know that they want to play for me and our coaches,” said Gonzales.
Coach Denok Miranda also shared his sentiments about Gonzales’ departure.
Miranda said he wished he had more time to take Gonzales under his wing.
“I wish we had more years together so I can teach him my experience because the time we had was really not enough,” said Miranda, who won a pair of UAAP titles in 2003 and 2004 as one of FEU’s stars.
“He just started practicing for me last August because he had just come off an injury so I couldn’t teach him everything I knew. He only learned more from me in the second round.”
With his UAAP days over, Gonzales will now fully focus on his full recovery as he is set to undergo procedure to remove bone spurs in his right knee.
“For now, I’ll have the bone spurs in my knee removed, then rehab but after that, I don’t know yet. Let’s see.”