EVEN Paul Desiderio couldn't help but notice that Juan Gomez de Liano has regained his bearings for University of the Philippines this late in UAAP Season 82.
"Yan yung @juan_swish9 na kilala ko!!," the former Maroons star posted on Twitter following the Fighting Maroons' 80-77 win over the National University on Wednesday.
After a slow start to the season that saw him average 6.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.0 steal through UP's first 10 games while dealing with injuries, the 19-year old looked like a different man in the Maroons' last two games where he averaged 13.0 points, 7.5 boards, 4.0 dimes, and 1.5 steals.
Against the Bulldogs, the third-year guard churned out his most complete game of the season, tallying 11 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists.
That's certainly good news for UP coach Bo Perasol, who has been trying to help Gomez de Liano regain the form that earned a Mythical Team selection last season.
"Maganda ang pinakita niya," said Perasol. "In fact, what's really important in that game is we were able to get him into his groove."
"As we're going to play more important games, kailangan namin siya at kailangan namin isa't isa. We have to maximize what they do. Ang importante dyan is yung nawala sa kanya, he's doing his best to get it back. Unti-unti, nakukuha na niya."
Gomez de Liano, however, is far from satisfied, vowing to hit peak form as the Maroons (8-4) try to peak for the playoffs.
"The grind doesn't stop," he said. "I just kept on working out. Every day, I'm trying to get better."
"At the rate we're going, with my progression and the team's progression, I just think we're gonna get better," Gomez de Liano added. "It's just all about sacrifice. Whatever I do, it's just all about sacrifice."