Former University of the Philippines (UP) star Juan Gomez de Liaño will bring his talents to Japan while officially signing with Earth Friends Tokyo Z in Division 2 of the Japan B. League.

“I am honored to be part of the Earth Friends Tokyo Z team. I am really looking forward to playing against you and competing with you throughout the season to be part of this journey,” said Gomez de Liaño in the video news of the team’s announcement on Wednesday 23 June.

“I look forward to meeting you soon and I hope you support us in the challenges that lie ahead.”

This is Gomez de Liaño’s first professional contract, but it will be his second time playing in the professional game after his participation in the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 league nullified his UAAP eligibility.

The UAAP rookie of the year 2017 played in the first three games of the FIBA ​​Asia Cup qualification, which helped the Philippines to top Group A with a perfect 3-0 record.

Although not part of the line-up in the third qualifying window, he was part of the training bubble in Calamba, Laguna.

Gomez de Liaño will join Earth Friends because of the quota system for Asian players that allowed Filipino basketball star Thirdy Ravena to play in the top division.

Ravena has signed a multi-year contract with the San-en NeoPhoenix and is eager to get back on his feet after numerous setbacks in his first professional assignment.

His brother Kiefer continued to grapple with contract issues with the PBA when Japanese B. League team Shiga Lakestars announced that they had signed the NLEX guard. –

Beatrice, better known as “Bee”, is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler covering the Philippine sports administration, national teams, soccer and the UAAP.

Stay tuned for their news and features on Filipino sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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