OPTING to hone their skills as members of the Gilas Pilipinas national team training pool, Fil-Spanish brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño of University of the Philippines are set to sit out the 83rd UAAP basketball tournament.
After that comes the big question mark.
The younger Juan Gomez de Liaño admitted he has received offers to suit up overseas.
“There are a few actually, but nothing official. So, I won’t say na actual offer siya,” said Juan in The Prospects Pod.
He did not elaborate but maintained it is his goal to show his wares outside the country.
“Personally, sa akin, it’s a goal of mine to play overseas, especially for me that I have a Spanish passport. It’s much easier to play for different clubs, but I’m just taking it a day at a time,” explained the 6-foot-2 playmaker.
Filipino cagers taking their acts overseas include 7-foot-2 center Kai Sotto (NBA G League), former Ateneo star wingman Thirdy Ravena (Japan B.League), Far Eastern University skipper Kenneth Tuffin (New Zealand NBL), and former National University Lady Bulldog center Jack Danielle Animam (Taiwan University Basketball Association).
Last week, former Baby Tamaraw standout Cholo Anonuevo left the country to train with East West Private, the same agency that handles Sotto in the US.
Seven-foot Fil-Am Gilas prospect Sage Tolentino, 16, who is based in Hawaii, also received an offer to play for the US NCAA Division I powerhouse Kansas University Jayhawks.
Javi said he is keen on returning to the Fighting Maroons after his stint with Nueva Ecija, where Juan Gomez de Liaño will also play, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
The MPBL announced that it will launch its fourth season on June 12, 2021.
“Sinabi sa amin hindi matutuloy iyong MPBL this season so it’s a big (change) in my plans kasi I’m supposed to graduate na rin this year,” said the 6-foot-5 Javi, a forward.
“Next year, I really want to play again for UP right after my stint with Nueva Ecija, pero wala, delayed. So, next year I’m gonna play with Nueva Ecija pa rin. Whenever Season 84 is, I’ll be playing for UP.”
If and when Juan and Javi return to the Maroons of Katipunan, they will have the chance to play alongside their other siblings in Joe, their oldest brother and a member of UP’s Team B, and Jordi, the youngest Gomez de Liaño cager, who plays for the UPIS squad in the juniors’ division.
“It would mean the world to me,” said Juan.
“We have not seen four brothers in one team pero iyon, I’ve been in UP na nga for seven years and like personally, I just want to bring a championship. . . Pero ayun, I decided to sit out kasi I’m trying to chase a dream.”