FIBA: Coaches see bright future ahead for Juan Gomez de Liano

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2020 08:28 PM

FIBA: Coaches see bright future ahead for Juan Gomez de Liano 1
Juan Gomez de Liano during the February window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers. FIBA.basketball

MANILA, Philippines -- University of the Philippines (UP) guard Juan Gomez de Liano turned heads with his performance for Gilas Pilipinas in the February 2020 window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers.

The former UAAP Rookie of the Year played just 11 minutes in the Philippines' 100-70 victory over Indonesia, but he made the most of every second. Gomez de Liano made four of his six field goals for 10 points, while adding two assists, a rebound, and a steal.

Mark Dickel, the TNT acting consultant who called the shots for Gilas in February, said on the "Coaches Unfiltered" podcast recently that he was "super impressed" with Gomez de Liano.

"He is super talented, and a great kid," Dickel said of the lefty guard who has helped elevate the UP men's basketball team into a top contender in the UAAP. 

Ryan Gregorio, the special assistant to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio, said Gomez de Liano is "one of the best that I've seen in terms of his age group."

For both coaches, there's no question of Gomez de Liano's talent and athleticism. As Dickel put it, he's got "all the skills and tools." What's crucial is for the 21-year-old to receive the right guidance and coaching so he can maximize his considerable potential.

"He really needs to be coached, he needs to play a lot, and he needs to be pushed at a high level because I think athletically, he's more than capable," Dickel said. 

"You want him to shoot, he can do that. He can pass. I would say defensively is a big issue for him, especially international. That's something that he's really got to work at, but he's got all the physical tools to be good at it," he added. 

Aside from this, Dickel said Gomez de Liano also needs to work on his body so he can get stronger, which will only benefit him on both ends of the court.

Gregorio, in an episode of "2OT," also stressed the need for Gomez de Liano to improve his playmaking. Right now, he sees the young guard as a shotmaker -- already one of the best in terms of getting his own shot and scoring. 

"But if you're a playmaker, you also get to involve the other four players inside the court," Gregorio said. 

The good news for Gomez de Liano is he has plenty of time to develop his physique and improve his skills.

"He's still so young," Dickel said. "Time is on his side."

"I really think that he can have a good career here, especially in the PBA, and in Gilas if and when that happens," he added.

Gomez de Liano is part of the Gilas Pilipinas roster for the November window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers. The team is already in Manama, Bahrain, where all games will be held in a "bubble."

Gilas Pilipinas plays Thailand twice in the window, first on November 27 and then on November 30. 

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