WHY is the UAAP tightlipped on whether University of the Philippines ace playmaker Juan Gomez de Liaño can still play for the Fighting Maroons?
The 6-foot-1Gomez de Liaño suited up for Nueva Ecija in the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup, a pro league, and put to risk his remaining two years of eligibility for UP.
De Liaño was granted a special guest license by the Games and Amusements Board despite his amateur status but the UAAP has yet to issue an official statement regarding the matter.
Maroons coach Bo Perasol said his squad and De Liaño are ready and whatever happens, they are fully aware of the possible repercussions of his stint in the country’s first pro 3×3 tilt.
UP Board of Managing Directors member dean Kiko Diaz refused to comment on the school’s stand on De Liaño’s eligibility but admitted their player’s 3×3 appearance could pose problems.
“Of course (De Liaño’s 3×3 stint will lead to possible questions on his eligibility),” Diaz told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
Several collegiate standouts such as center Justine Baltazar and guard Encho Serrano of La Salle; University of the East wingman Neil Tolentino; guard John Lloyd Clemente of National University; University of Santo Tomas big man Bryan Santos; and forward Rhanzelle Yong of Lyceum have opted not to play for Pampanga in the finals of the National Basketball League, also a newly-turned pro league.
A former Rookie of the Year awardee, De Liaño, along with his older brother Javi, are set to sit out the 83rd UAAP basketball tournament to toughen up as a member of the Gilas Pilipinas national team training pool.