"We’re playing 3x3 and that’s the OG," said Juan Gomez de Liaño in his return to 3x3 basketball which he considers his bread and butter for the sport.

/ 18 October 2020

For the 6-foot-1 guard it is time for him to go back to his roots as he suits up for Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards in the upcoming Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup presented by TM.

“I was introduced to 3×3 basketball when I was eight or nine years old. I would play 3×3 with grownups, I grew up playing in the streets,” he said.

Gomez de Liaño was a key player for the Philippine team which saw action in the 2017 Fiba 3×3 Under-18 World Cup in Chengdu, China.

Gomez de Liaño teamed up with fellow youth stars AJ Edu, Rhayyan Amsali, and Encho Serrano, the Filipinos made waves in the league and made it to the quarterfinals before landing the seventh-place finish.

The 2017 Fiba 3×3 was a memorable experience for the University of the Philippines (UP) baller and still relishes memories of that campaign even until now.

“It was very positive. Coming into that tournament, I remember there weren’t high expectations for us. We finished seventh but that it was a great experience being able to compete at a high level,” said GDL.

Three years later, Gomez de Liaño is now ready to go back to his core as he seeks to lead the campaign of the Rice Vanguards to great heights inside the Calambubble at Inspire Sports Academy.

“We joined this tournament with one mindset—to win,” said the 20-year-old, who holds a special guest player license from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

Gomez de Liaño will join veteran Gab Banal to carry the torch for Nueva Ecija.

Completing the lineup are Jai Reyes and Tonino Gonzaga as they make up for the late pull-outs of Juan’s brothers Javi and Joe.