JUAN Gomez de Liano bolstered his case for winning the UAAP Season 80 Rookie of the Year award following another scoring explosion that unfortunately led to a loss for the University of the Philippines.
Gomez de Liano, a heavy-favorite to win the top rookie plum, had 21 points to go along with six assists and three assists in UP’s defeat to Ateneo, 96-82, on Wednesday.
The product of UP Integrated School is now averaging 10.8 points and has become an added weapon for the Maroons aside from Paul Desiderio.
Despite blowing a 12-point lead to the Eagles, Gomez de Liano was happy Maroons coach Bo Perasol gave the team a lot of confidence that led to his stellar play.
“Coach Bo has been giving us so much confidence. We weren’t able to close it out,” said Gomez de Liano.
The 17-year-old Gomez de Liano has been repaying the trust not only Perasol has been giving to him, but also by San Miguel cager Alex Cabagnot, who is part of the UP coaching staff.
“Compared sa first few games, I was just trying to get used to the college level. Props to coach Bo. He has been giving me confidence. Coach Alex (Cabagnot) has been telling me to attack the rack and keep on taking my shots,” said Gomez de Liano.
Perasol emphasized the importance of another scorer in the UP squad in the 6-foot-2 Gomez de Liano.
“I think we will be a tough team to beat if we can have those sources of offense. That’s the plan. That’s the reason why we have Juan in the team,” said Perasol.