SORRY, University of the Philippines fans. Juan Gomez de Liano will not be playing in the upcoming 2019 PBA D-League season set to start on Thursday.
The charismatic guard, who was picked in the sixth round by Che'Lu Bar and Grill in the rookie draft, will not don the Revellers colors as most of the Fighting Maroons have been prohibited from seeing action in the developmental ranks.
UP coach Bo Perasol explained that the decision stems from the team rule for players to focus on academics, especially after what had been a grueling UAAP Season 81 campaign that saw the Diliman ballers finish runner-up.
"Most of my players struggled in their academics last semester because of our championship run," he said in a text message to Spin.ph.
"We can't take the risk of letting most of them miss classes as the D-League games are played during weekdays."
UP had planned to join the PBA D-League late last year, but ultimately opted to forego the chance to allow their players to catch up in their studies.
Aside from Gomez de Liano, other UP players who won't have the chance to return to the PBA D-League this year are his brother Javi Gomez de Liano and center Jerson Prado, both of whom played for Marinerong Pilipino last year.
There will still be a handful of former and current Maroons present once the league opens its doors, with graduates Gelo Vito and Jarell Lim playing for Wangs, and seniors Jun Manzo and Noah Webb representing Diliman College-Gerry's Grill.