By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
One of the most promising young cadets of the Gilas Pilipinas will be making his return with the national team this coming first window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Former University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons’ superstar Juan Gomez de Liaño confirmed that he will be back with the Gilas program after a one-year stint in the Japan B. League Division II where he played for the basketball club Tokyo Z.
De Liaño only played 17 games in the B. League due to several injuries that kept him on the sidelines during their campaign for a Division II title.
The crafty combo guard was one of the revelations during the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers where he averaged an impressive 12.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists during his three games played with Gilas.
Aside from his stellar averages, de Liaño also helped Gilas finish an undefeated campaign in the FIBA Manama bubble.
De Liaño’s consistent shooting while getting his teammates involved drew praises from former Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin who handled the roster during the Manama bubble.
However, Baldwin will no longer call the shots for Gilas this coming first window after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced that head coach Chot Reyes will reclaim his post and lead the national team this 2022.
De Liaño is ready to fly back to the Philippines and is just waiting for a negative RT-PCR result in Japan where he is currently staying.