UP coach Perasol in full support of Javi GDL's move to pros: 'He has paid his dues'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2021 06:19 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2021 10:17 AM

UP coach Perasol in full support of Javi GDL's move to pros: 'He has paid his dues' 1
Javi Gomez de Liano in action for UP in UAAP Season 82. UAAP Media

MANILA, Philippines -- Javi Gomez de Liano's decision to play for the Ibaraki Robots in Japan's B.League means that he will be foregoing his final season of eligibility with the University of the Philippines (UP).

Yet while he is losing a cornerstone of his program, UP head coach Bo Perasol is delighted to see Gomez de Liano spread his wings in Japan, where he will play as an Asian import.

"Javi's opportunity to play as an Asian import in Japan is a testament of his dedication to his craft," Perasol said in a message to ABS-CBN News.

"He deserves now to earn from the countless hours he spent in the gym, perfecting his skills," he added.

Gomez de Liano was a key contributor for the Fighting Maroons during his time with the program. In Season 82, which turned out to be his last playing year, he averaged 10.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.

He was also called up to the national team program, playing three games for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers.

Perasol stressed that Gomez de Liano's departure from the program has his blessing.

"He has already paid his dues to our basketball program," the coach said. "I will always be cheering for him."

Gomez de Liano joins his younger brother, Juan, in Japan. Juan earlier announced that he will be playing for Earthfriends Tokyo Z, a team in the second division of the B.League.

"We were right all along in believing in both of their potentials," Perasol said of the Gomez de Liano brothers, who were crucial in the Fighting Maroons' second place finish in UAAP Season 81.

"I would like to believe that our program gave them the right venue to hone and maximize their skills and their competitive spirits," he added.

The Gomez de Liano brothers join Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena in signing with teams in Japan's B.League. Thirdy will be playing for San-En NeoPhoenix for the second straight season, while Kiefer signed with the Shiga Lakestars.

The Ravena brothers also played for Perasol in 2014, when he coached Ateneo de Manila University.