Juan Gomez de Liaño was the steady presence for the young Gilas team when it competed in the Manama bubble of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
And he was a picture of consistency.
The 6-foot-1 guard out of University of the Philippines averaged 13.0 points on 50-percent shooting from downtown, to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
According to the 21-year-old Fil-Spaniard, Gilas program director Tab Baldwin gave him a challenge — to be one of the leaders that needed to step up during the four-day stretch in Bahrain.
“It’s been truly an honor and a blessing for me to be given this opportunity,” Gomez de Liano expressed to Tiebreaker Times.
“It also has been a great overall experience, being able to understand the game even more and just [to] learn so much from coach Tab and the rest of the coaching staff.”
Safe to say, Gomez de Liaño proved that he can lead a team.
Besides scoring buckets — a talent everyone knows he possesses — Gomez de Liaño, while nursing a right index finger injury, also crashed the boards and created opportunities for his teammates. Moreover, despite being one of the youngest players in the squad, he became one of the team’s vocal leaders.
Despite his excellent campaign, Gomez de Liano feels far from satisfied.
“Personally, I could’ve done better, but it’s always a learning process.
“Coach Tab really believed in me and wanted me to become one of the leaders in this team. That’s my job as a point guard. Be more vocal, facilitate, focus on the system, and just create for my teammates and try to make the right plays,” he continued.
With the final window of the Qualifiers just two months away, Gomez de Liaño plans to immediately head to work after a short break.
“Off-season work with Better Basketball and Aytona Performance!”