JUAN Gomez de Liano had a weekend to remember - exactly what he needs to prepare for the college ranks.
The UAAP juniors MVP played for three straight days with University of the Philippines in the Araw ng Davao Invitational, hopped into a plane bound for Manila on Sunday morning, and by the afternoon was suiting up in the Slam Rising Stars Classic at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
The Maroons went on to rule the Davao tournament by beating La Salle in the final, a game Gomez de Liano sat out to play in the Slam showcase, where he scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Team Hype to an 89-83 win over Team Punks.
He was later named MVP to put a fitting end to his high school career.
The whirlwind week, Gomez de Liano said, will go a long way as he prepares for his move to the UAAP seniors tournament where he will be suiting up for the Maroons.
“I’m getting ready for the next level. I actually came from Davao and I flew back and I had to come back for this game,” said Gomez de Liano, who won MVP honors in the UAAP juniors while playing for the UP Integrated School.
“Pagod, grabe,” he explained. “It’s a great experience.”
Gomez de Liano said the Sunday game, which featured some of the best high school players in the country, was also a good gauge on where he is ahead of his debut with the Maroons.
“It’s all about self-confidence and I came prepared. I’m glad to compete with these guys. Eto ‘yung top players ng high school. Masaya,” said Gomez de Liano.
“I’m truly grateful. I’m really happy. I didn’t expect to win this award,” he added.