MANILA, Philippines -- Marinerong Pilipino guard Juan Gomez de Liaño earned the PBA D-League Player of the Week award after powering the Skippers to the Finals of the Aspirants' Cup.
Marinerong Pilipino was on the ropes against Apex Fuel-San Sebastian in Game 3 of their semifinals series before Gomez de Liaño took over. The former University of the Philippines star fired two crucial three-pointers, then hit a clutch layup with 52.4 seconds left to tow the Skippers to a 69-64 win.
Gomez de Liaño finished with a superb all-around performance of 23 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in the do-or-die game, giving him the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps D-League Player of the Week award for the period August 15 to 20.
Gomez de Liaño edged EcoOil-La Salle's CJ Austria and Michael Phillips for the plum as the group, made up of sportswriters and editors covering the beat, hands out citations in celebration of the developmental league's 10th season.
For the 22-year-old guard, however, the credit belonged to his teammates who gave him the confidence during the crucial stretch of the game.
"I think it was really all in our team mindset," said Gomez de Liaño, also one of the frontrunners to cop the Conference MVP trophy.
"Just having the right mindset coming into this do-or-die game, sinasabi ko nga lagi sa kanila to not waste the opportunity because we worked so hard to get to this point. Sayang naman 'pag pinakawalan lang namin. So we're glad that we got the win and focus na kami sa Finals," he added.
Gomez de Liaño and the Skippers are facing EcoOil-La Salle in the Finals, where they currently have a 1-0 series lead.