University of the Philippines standouts Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño both expressed confidence of playing much better and smarter in Game 2 of their UAAP title series with the Ateneo Eagles.
The de Liaño brothers took to Twitter in expressing their thoughts after absorbing an 88-79 defeat to the Eagles in the opener of their title series at the packed Mall of Asia Arena in PasayCity.
“Thank you up community, y’all were amazing as always! we will be back stronger,” said Juan Gomez de Liaño via his account @juan_swish9 adding a hashtag #upfight on the post.
Yesterday, he posted another Tweet, saying: “positivity can really get you through anything.”
His younger brother Javi posted a shorter but similar sentiment.
“We will comeback better. keep the faith,” he said through his account @javigdl22.
Juan Gomez de Liaño had 17 points and nine rebounds but had a team-high six of UP’s 19 turnovers, which Ateneo translated to 24 points.
Game 2 is set tomorrow at the Smart Areneta Coliseum in what could be a make or break for the Maroons.
Facing a do-or-die situation is nothing new for the Maroons.
The team survived two must-win matches against twice-to-beat Adamson in the Final Four, first scoring a 73-71 victory last Nov. 24 to force a sudden death and then came through with an 89-87 overtime win four days later.
UP’s win propelled the team to the finals for the first time in 32 years, or since the school’s last UAAP title in 1986 under legendary head coach Joe Lipa, with players Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano.
UP coach Bo Perasol, meantime, felt sad and bad about the action made by a school official that made viral.
In a post on Facebook, UP’s Board of Regents member Frederick “Spocky” Farolan hinted that three Blue Eagles will be “injured” for Wednesday’s Game 2.
Farolan posted: “Sayang hindi kumpleto ang players players ng Ateneo sa Wednesday. Tatlo injured. Pili na kayo kung sinu-sino mga yun.” (Its unfortunate Ateneo’s incomplete on Wednesday. Three are injured. Choose who these will be.)
“That’s foul,” said Perasol in a text message. “I don’t condone that sort of thing. Let’s not turn something good to something ugly.”
Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga said he is sure that the post doesn’t represent the UP community as a whole.
“I don’t think that represents in any way the UP community’s thoughts and principles,” he said. “The focus is on our preparation for Game 2. For alleged serious threats and other concerns, our officials are on top of this.”
Ateneo shoots for the title Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.