JUAN Gomez de Liano will be sitting out Leg 2 of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup presented by TM on Friday as he continues to nurse his sprained right ankle.
The 20-year-old got hurt after landing on the foot of Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors' Chris Lalata, rendering him out for Nueva Ecija for the remainder of its inspirational run to the semifinals.
"Medyo swollen pa. Still minimal movements for me," he said on Thursday.
It's a big blow for the Rice Vanguards, with Gomez de Liano taking the league by storm after averaging 7.5 points in Leg 1.
Though he's been ruled out for Leg 2, Gomez de Liano is keeping his fingers crossed that his condition gets better so he can rejoin Nueva Ecija in time for Leg 3, set on Sunday.
For the meantime, his absence leaves the Rice Vanguards to the care of veterans Gab Banal, Jai Reyes, Mac Sabellina, and Tonino Gonzaga, who will be activated for the second leg.
Banal carried Nueva Ecija on his shoulders in the playoffs and even gave eventual champion Family's Brand Sardines Zamboanga City a tough challenge in the semis before bowing, 21-19.
The road, however, won't get easier as the Rice Vanguards are bracketed in Pool A for Leg 2, where it will take on hard-nosed sides of Palayan City Capitals and Saranggani Marlins.