Eventual UAAP Season 81 champion Ateneo de Manila University may have ended the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons’ impressive run but sophomore playmaker Juan Gomez de Liaño is not done thinking about the Blue Eagles yet.
Moments after losing the title series, Gomez de Liaño told reporters he is looking forward to a rematch in Season 82 and possibly a measure of revenge.
Gomez de Liaño noted that the Fighting Maroons were winless in four games against Ateneo in the just concluded tournament.
The Blue Eagles clinched back-to-back titles after drubbing the Fighting Maroons 99-81 in Game 2 behind the dominant performance of finals MVP Thirdy Ravena.
Despite the loss, Gomez de Liaño remained grateful for what UP achieved this year, echoing his teammates' sentiments.
“We had to prove everyone wrong. I am just really happy for my teammates. I’m just thankful to this opportunity to participate in the finals,” said Gomez de Liaño, who led his team in Game 2 with 24 points.
While he is happy with a silver medal, Gomez de Liaño stressed that they have to continue playing defense for a whole 40 minutes especially in crucial games if they want to remain successful.
“We just really have to play as a team, as one unit. No selfishness. Continue to play defense throughout the game,” he added.
With the departure of key players such as Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario, Gomez de Liaño was reminded by his seniors to focus on every game and exert 100% of his effort.
“They just keep on telling me that I have a bright future a head. Just don’t let anyone distract you and give your best 100%. Wag magpetiks,” Gomez de Liaño said.
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