Terrafirma is expecting Javi Gomez de Liaño to make an instant impact when he formally gets on board for the 47th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) starting next month.
Dyip head coach Johnedel Cardel said the 23-year-old De Liaño is set to join their practice on Thursday, just a couple of days after getting shipped by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in exchange for second overall pick Jeremiah Gray.
Cardel explained that they are bent on having immediate results in the upcoming All-Filipino conference and they cannot afford to wait for Gray to recover from his knee injury.
The Dyip tactician was told that Gray’s earliest return to the court might be around February 2023.
“We thought he (Gray) could play with us before the end of 2022, but his manager told us that his recovery might take a little bit longer,” Cardel said.
“We can see Javi taking the No. 3 spot in our team since we lost Matt (Ganuelas-Rosser) and Roosevelt Adams.”
Terrafirma, which failed to make it to the playoffs in the past two conferences, made quite an interesting decision in picking up an injured Gray at the second spot.
The Filipino-American cager is currently recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament he sustained during his stint with TNT Tropang Giga in the PBA 3×3 Lakas ng Tatlo tournament last year.
De Liaño, meanwhile, was selected by the Kings at eighth, but was immediately sent to the Dyip alongside Brian Enriquez.
The former University of the Philippines (UP) stalwart recently saw action for the Ibaraki Robots in the Japan B. League and was among the four incoming rookies selected for the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
His outside shooting and additional ceiling is expected to boost Dyip’s offense once he plays with Juami Tiongson, Alex Cabagnot and Isaac Go.
“I know Javi is a fighter since I saw him play for UP. He suits our goal of having a player that could play immediately and make an impact,” Cardel said.