ATENEO has added another foundational talent for the future with the commitment of Fil-Italian guard Gabriel Gomez.
"I decided to go to Ateneo because it's a dream since a kid. I always watch Ateneo," said the 20-year-old, who was raised in Perugia in central Italy.
"When they made their offer to me, di ko na pinag-isipan. In-accept ko agad kasi minsan lang yung ganoong opportunity. Thats why I decided to go to Ateneo."
Gomez, who traces his roots to Nasugbu, Batangas, is a 6-foot shooter who is a former teammate of former Gilas Pilipinas Youth court general Dalph Panopio in Bologna Basketball Playground.
He graduated tourism in ITET Aldo Capitini in Perugia and teamed up with Ireland-raised Cholo Anonuevo in Italy Europe Proudly Pinoy back in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC National Finals.
Gomez, who idolizes Ginebra guard LA Tenorio, also saw action in youth club tournament Serie C Gold for Perugia Basket, where he was named as the MVP and Best Scorer in Memorial Romei and the Best Prospect in Saioni Tournament.
He will be cleared to play come UAAP Season 83 and can play for four years in Katipunan.
This early, coach Tab Baldwin is speaking highly of his new acquisition.
"In our program, we're always looking at high-character guys. It's evident that he's an outstanding young man," he said. "His on-court demeanor is excellent, he can play the point, shooting guard, and he's an outstanding shooter. He has the European game so that should translate pretty easily to the system that we want to play."
Gomez will have to fight for his time in a loaded Ateneo backcourt which features SJ Belangel, Gian Mamuyac, and Tyler Tio, but he's intent on making his mark on the team as Ateneo seeks for a fourth straight UAAP title next season.
"Medyo pressure kasi champion sila, but it's exciting cause Ateneo is Ateneo," he said.