The Gomez de Liaño brothers of the UP Fighting Maroons outperformed the National University Bulldogs’ Ildefonso brothers in Sunday’s close game that resulted in a one-point win for UP.
Javi, the older GDL brother, registered a career high 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block.
Big man Bright Akhuetie joined the older GDL brother as he registered a career high in points as well with 21.
Juan GDL and King Maroon Paul Desiderio offered significant contributions as well with 20 and 14 points, respectively.
Javi was quoted as saying “The preseason, parang I was losing myself. I didn’t know what my role for the team was so I was left sa bench,” referring to UP’s changes in its playing system and roster.
But he added that he now feels more comfortable coming off the bench, since he feels that he is capable of being a leader for his teammates who also play critical roles as substitutes.
Despite playing a career game, he feels he could have done a much better job, especially on the boards. “I’d rate myself like a D or F kasi my defense, yung mga tao ko, they got offensive rebounds. That was on me,” he told reporters.
The Fighting Maroons outscored the Bulldogs in the first three quarters, but NU managed to score seven more points than UP in the final quarter.
NU’s Shaun Ildefonso made a crucial basket with about 10 seconds left in regulation coming from an assist from his younger brother, Dave, which took them one possession away from stealing the win in the game’s dying seconds.
JV Gallego, however, lost track of time in the game’s final seven seconds and missed the chance for NU to attempt for a field goal to take the lead, ending the game at 89-88 in favor of UP.
The Gomez de Liaño brothers scored a total of 39 points, close to half of their teams total score.
The UP Fighting Maroons have improved to a 3-3 record, while the NU Bulldogs are tied with the UE Red Warriors at last place with a record of 1-5.