"My grandfather passed away yesterday so we had a Zoom meeting [with my family]," he said. "It's a tough situation for us because they were in Madrid, my grandparents they were in Spain right now. That's the way last night and that's why it was a tough situation for me."
It was a difficult task for Gomez de Liano. Good thing the former University of the Philippines playmaker had his family, albeit remotely, to share the grief with.
"I talked to my family. I try almost every day to keep in touch, constantly have good communication, just keep updating each other and just knowing what's going on with my life and what's going on back home. It's the cycle of life. It's part of life so we have to move on from it and just continue to pray for everything," he said.
Gomez de Liano understands it is just one of the challenges playing overseas.
"Personally I felt like I was gonna grow as an individual going to Japan. I really love the place, the culture, the people, and I really felt like it was a good opportunity for me to grow not just as a basketball player but as a person as well, being independent, just doing the the little things to keep me going," he said.
Juan Gomez de Liano
Gomez de Liano only played three minutes in his Earthfriends debut, an 89-82 defeat to Kagawa Five Arrows on Saturday.
He did bounce back stronger a day after, finishing with 10 points, but that wasn't enough as Tokyo suffered a 100-85 loss to the same Kagawa team.
It's not Gomez de Liano's usual play, but he vowed to do better in the coming games.
"It's a learning process and for me personally, I just want to control the things I can control."
"It means continuous improvement every day. Back in practice, there's always room for improvement. That's my mindset coming to practice, I never wanna settle. I just want to continue getting better in all aspects, just improve every day and I think that's the best way to go through life, just trying to pick new lessons and just grow with your life.
"As goes for the season, we had a bad start but we just have to have the right mindset, positive energy, positive vibes, good environment heading into practice, and just win as much as games as we can. I think that's the team's goal, to make it to the playoffs and hopefully bring home the championship. So I think we're all in the same page. We all want to get better every day, we're learning a lot from the coaches we have."
Earthfriends Tokyo Z continues its early season road trip against the Yamagata Wyverns (2-0) at Yamagataken Sogoundo Park this weekend.
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.