UP hotshot skipping 2021 PBA draft
Javi Gomez de Liaño
STAR/ File

UP hotshot skipping 2021 PBA draft

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The UP Fighting Maroons’ mission to regain the UAAP crown got a major boost after Gilas Pilipinas cadet Javi Gomez de Liaño decided to skip the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft and return to Diliman for his final playing year.

His presence will add firepower to the Fighting Maroons bannered by Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero and Bright Akhuetie as they bid to end a 35-year championship drought once Season 84 fires off.

“There’s no doubt that after his stint with Gilas, his contributions will be very valuable to our quest to finally win the crown,” coach Bo Perasol told The STAR.

Gomez de Liaño sat out Season 83 before its cancellation to focus on full-time training with Gilas, where he impressed in the November window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

He was already tipped to go high in the PBA Draft in March until he decided to avail of his last playing year in the UAAP.

However, the 22-year-old guard still has to fulfill his duties with the Gilas team currently training in Calamba, Laguna for the last FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers window in Clark, Pampanga next month.

Meanwhile, the fate of his brother, Juan, remains in the air following a stint with the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 League, which is a professional league.

UAAP players are barred from playing in any professional league.

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