Javi Gomez de Liaño to make Japan B. League debut

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Javi Gomez de Liaño to make Japan B. League debut
Javi Gomez de Liano
Twitter / Ibaraki Robots

MANILA, Philippines – After missing out on the Ibaraki Robots’ first eight matches of the 2021-22 Japan B. League season, Javi Gomez de Liaño will make his debut Wednesday when his squad takes on Seahorses Mikawa. 

The former University of the Philippines standout finished his two-week quarantine and took a few days to fix his paperwork in Japan.

The 6’5” forward will join a team that features former Arizona State University Sun Devil center Eric Jacobsen, Canadian forward Marc Trasolini and American guard Chehales Tapscott. 

The Robots have averaged 72.6 points in eight games. However, they have surrendered an average of 84.8 points. 

Ibaraki has been woeful losing matches by an average of 16 points per game. Their biggest loss this season was to the Akita Northern Happinets, 83-57.

The Robots’ imports Tapscott is averaging 1.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, Trasolini 13.6 and 7.5 rebounds, and Jacobsen is norming 19.1 points and 12.1 boards.

Among the Japanese players, their two point guards help out with Kouhei Fukuzawa chipping in 8.2 points and Mitsuyoshi Hirao adding 9.3 points and 3.5 assists per match.

They will face the 6-2 Seahorses at their home arena of Wing Arena Kariya. Seahorses trail the 7-1 Hiroshima Dragons for the pole position of Japan’s professional basketball circuit. 

“I am excited to join Ibaraki and see how I can help them turn this season around,” said Gomez de Liaño in an interview with Tap Go, which televises the B. League matches here in the Philippines via streaming and cable television. “It’s a long season and we aren’t even one-third of the way. We can only get better.”

Ibaraki has had injury problems with Jacobsen missing two matches and de Liano not playing eight games. 

“It’s exciting to be here in Japan,” added Javi. “Even as a young kid, my brother Juan and I dreamed of playing abroad. Now we have a chance to show what we can do.”

“It’s nice to see some familiar faces here in the B. League. Obviously, I played with Kobe (Paras who is with Niigata Albirex, which is one game ahead of Ibaraki with two wins in eight matches) in UP and against (San-en Neophoenix’s) Thirdy Ravena in Ateneo.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated turning professional,” pointed out Javi’s father, Bert in the same interview. “The plan was to play out one last season with UP but with all the uncertainty and sports opening up in other countries, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.” 

“I think in the few weeks I have been here in Japan, I am learning to be independent and fending off for myself,” added Javi. “I am learning to cook, wash my own clothes, and do pretty much everything on my own.”

“Now what is next is to help Ibaraki take care of business.”

Filipino cage fans can follow the Japan B. League by subscribing to the Tap Go app. For more details, they can go to the Facebook page of Tap Go.

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