WHENEVER there's an opening, sophomore guard L-Jay Gonzales has been quick on his feet to deliver for the FEU Tamaraws.
Him pushing the pace paved the way for the Morayta-based squad to grab their fifth win of UAAP Season 82. They blew by rival UST Growling Tigers, 72-58, on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena, and tied the latter for third place in the standings with a 5-5 win-loss record.
“Malaking tulong talaga sa team ko 'yung pagtakbo nang mabilis. Sinasabi nga lagi sa akin ni Coach Olsen, 'Kahit wala sa'yo 'yung bola, tumakbo ka lang nang tumakbo, 'di mo alam, mapasahan o maka-layup ka,'" said L-Jay, who had 17 points and six rebounds for the Tamaraws.
The 5-foot-10 guard credited his remarkable speed to his unlikely athletic history.
"Bago ako mag-basketball, track and field talaga ang laro ko since nung elementary ako," he shared. "Sumasali-sali lang din ako sa mga marathon at fun run sa amin dati, 'yun naman talaga ang hilig ko."
The 20-year-old also revealed he didn't have formal basketball training, and that he only fell in love with the sport by joining small-time leagues in the harsh courts of Isabela.
"Natuto lang ako mag-basketball kasi yung tito ko sinasama ako sa mga ligang barangay lang sa'min dati. Ayun, napansin ko gusto ko ding maglaro noon, kaya natuto din ako. Wala naman akong ibang training, naglalaro lang ako para sa pamilya ko, ine-enjoy ko lang 'yung buhay ko," the young blood explained.
Armed with tireless legs and work ethic, L-Jay will be instrumental in FEU booking a ticket to the Final Four.