MANILA—After being the focal point in last year's campaign of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, Juan Gomez de Liaño took a huge shift in his role to give space to the new additions on the team for UAAP Season 82.
With the entry of transferring Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras, Gomez de Liaño came off the bench most of the season. And the talented scorer acknowledged, after the 68-65 loss to University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, his difficulty to adjust to his new role to the Fighting Maroons.
But Gomez de Liaño was quick to say he learned a handful this season.
"Just getting to know more about myself and be able to adjust to whatever roles given to me. At least, I tried my best," he said.
The third-year player of UP said he was supposed to miss the season because of the injuries he had suffered before the season. He added he is still nursing some back pains and a left ankle injury.
"I wasn't supposed to be here. I faced so much injuries before the season started and during the season, but God has a purpose. He placed me in this kind of position na I shouldn't waste. He gave me so much opportunities," Gomez de Liaño said.
Despite failing to return to the finals, he said he remains grateful to his teammates for sticking around through rough times.
"This season is definitely one of the seasons na I really learned a lot and got to know more about myself. I'm just really thankful for the team. We just fought it out all season and we just fell short," Gomez de Liano explained.
He, however, lamented the failure of the Fighting Maroons to prove their haters wrong after losing their twice-to-beat advantage at the hands of the gritty fourth seeded Tigers.
"So much going on this season. I'm just really glad we stayed together all throughout. Just the bond itself meant a lot for my career," he added.
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