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Juan GDL will not let ‘perfect chance’ to win D-League crown slip away

Juan Gomez de Liaño believes that now is the ‘perfect chance’ for Marinerong Pilipino to write history by winning its breakthrough PBA D-League title.

The star guard is full of optimism after the Skippers moved on the cusp of copping the 2022 Aspirants’ Cup crown. This, following their gritty 72-67 victory over EcoOil-La Salle in Game One of the best-of-three series, Wednesday.

“Ever since Marinero joined, they haven’t won the championship,” said the Conference Most Valuable Player frontrunner.

“I believe this is our perfect chance to finally give them one. And we’ll start from there and build history together,” Gomez de Liaño continued.

“I’m just really thankful to be part of this organization. One win away.”

Marinero has been in the developmental ranks since 2017, but a championship remains elusive for the club despite fielding formidable rosters.

It actually had a chance to win one back in the 2019 Foundation Cup behind a team that featured eventual Conference MVP Eloy Poligrates, Mark Yee, and future PBA players Santi Santillan, Mike Ayonayon, and Will McAloney.

The Skippers were heavily expected to sweep their way to the gold, only to lose to Hesed Gabo and BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare in the finale.

That title showdown saw them win Game One, and that puts the present-day Marinerong Pilipino in that same position after beating the Green Archers.

And definitely, they do not want history to repeat itself, with their sights set on closing it out in Game Two on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

2022-PBA-D-League-Aspirants-Cup-Finals-Marinerong-Pilipino-vs-La-Salle-Juan-Gomez-de-Liano Juan GDL will not let 'perfect chance' to win D-League crown slip away Basketball News PBA D-League  - philippine sports news

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“It’s all about energy and effort,” offered Gomez de Liaño, when asked what it will take for his squad to end the series and ultimately bag home the chip.

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“Walang star player sa team namin. We’re all team players, we follow the system. We just want to win. It all boils down to energy and effort,” added the 22-year-old, whose brother, Javi. also played for the ball club in 2019.

Gomez de Liaño may have said otherwise, but he’s undeniably the leader of Marinero this conference. And that was evident with how he took over in the clutch in Game One to ultimately put his side ahead in the series.

He only tallied nine points but six of the Skippers’ last 10 points came from him, including the dagger that gave them the 68-64 lead with 13.9 seconds left. He also finished with 14 rebounds, seven assists, and four steals.

“I just wanted to win,” said the former Tokyo Z import.

He added, “I wanted to be a good example and role model to my teammates. I want to make my family and all the supporters proud because without them we wouldn’t be where we are.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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