JAVI Gomez de Liano’s career night almost turned into a nightmare after he missed two free throws which would have sealed the game for University of the Philippines.
Luckily for him, National University never got a shot off in the waning moments as the Fighting Maroons held on to an 89-88 win over the Bulldogs on Sunday in the UAAP basketball season at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I missed those free throws. Siguro, new experience kasi it’s my first time shooting those free throws na crucial, so I’ll learn from that,” said de Liano after the match.
“No excuses, free throws are free throws, sure shot na yun. I thought it was going to be Adamson part two, please no, no. Good thing he kicked it out to Dave,” he added.
Save for that late-game blunder, Gomez de Liano had a pretty solid game as he finished with a career-high 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the win.
Still, the older of the two Gomez de Lianos in the UP lineup was critical of how he performed, pointing out that NU players Shaun Ildefonso and Joshua Sinclair still managed to get their numbers against him.
“Career-game, pero as a player, I played really bad. I’d rate myself like D or F, kasi my defense, si Shaun Ildefonso and si [Josh] Sinclair, they got offensive rebounds. That was on me. I didn’t box out really well,” said Gomez de Liano.
The rarely used Gomez de Liano said the long stretches he spent on the bench helped him see things in a much different perspective – especially with regard to the things that he needed to do.
Now it’s beginning to pay off for him.
“It’s about being positive and patient for me. The preseason, parang I was losing myself. I didn’t know what my role was for the team so I was left sa bench,” said Gomez de Liano.
“Pero being benched, that kinda helped me na rin to work on the things that I lacked.”