Brothers Juan and Javi Gómez de Liaño created beautiful magic on the court when the two played for Gilas Pilipinas during the Manama window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
In their first game together in the national team, Juan posted norms of 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in two games versus Thailand. Javi, on the other hand, averaged 14.0 points on 78.6-percent shooting from the field along with 2.5 boards.
Come June however, only Javi will be in Gilas. Still, Juan remains proud that a Gómez de Liaño will be fighting for the country in Clark or during the Belgrade Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“I’m very proud. Even if I’m not there, at least my brother is there to represent the country. That is everyone’s goal — to be able to fight and play for the country,” said Juan, who is just 16 months younger than Javi.
“He’s there to represent the country and our family.”
This is just the second time Juan will not be alongside Javi on the court.
Since UAAP Season 80, Javi always had Juan as a teammate. They were together in Mighty Sports and in Marinerong Pilipino.
The only time Javi was by his lonesome was during the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup. Back then, he played for Marinero.
Just like in 2019, Juan, alongside the entire nation, will be watching the games of Gilas. It faces South Korea on June 16, Indonesia on the 19th, and South Korea again on the 20th in the ACQ. It will then square off against Serbia on June 30 and the Dominican Republic on July 1 in the OQT.
And he will be the team’s biggest cheerleader.
“On my side, even though I’m not there physically, they still have full support.”
The 6-foot-1 guard has vowed that he will continue to work in hopes of a call-up for the busy second half Gilas has.
As he stressed, a Gómez de Liaño will always fight for his country.
“I hope in the upcoming tournaments, I hope they consider having me and calling me up. I will do anything to play for the country again.”