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    Juan GDL ready for turn to lead as UP waits for Ricci, Kobe to be eligible

    Dec 7, 2018
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    LOSSES only makes one's resolve tougher.

    And for Juan Gomez de Liano, he's confident that University of the Philippines has what it takes to make a return trip to the finals come UAAP Season 82.

    "UP will be in the finals, definitely," he bravely declared after the Fighfting Maroons' 99-81 Game Two defeat to Ateneo at the end of the Season 81 title series on Wednesday.

    "We're 0-4 this season against (Ateneo), so we got to redeem ourselves."

    Gomez de Liano's confidence stems from the wealth of talent UP is set to welcome once Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero become eligible to join the squad next year.

    "With Ricci and Kobe, yeah, I think we’ll be good," he said, though he's aware that chemistry must be a premium if the Fighting Maroons want to show that their performance this season is no one-off. "One thing we gotta do is how to jell together. That’s the most important thing, and I think we have enough time to jell."

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    Bigger responsibilities await Gomez de Liano in the coming years with team captain Paul Desiderio graduating and ceasing the leadership role to him.

    The Season 80 Rookie of the Year is ready.

    "I gotta live up to the legacy," said Gomez de Liano as he looks to build on the foundation built by seniors Desiderio, Diego Dario, and Gelo Vito.

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    "They told me it’s my turn to lead the team and I hope I’ll live up to it and we’ll see what happens next year. I’ll just continue what I’ll do best, which is creating for my teammates and I also have to be more vocal to them," he said.

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    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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