Another Filipino cager is taking his talents to Japan after Juan Gomez de Liano signed with EarthFriends Tokyo Z, a second division club in the B.League.
The club located in the southeast part of Tokyo made the announcement Wednesday, June 23 as the sweet-shooting southpaw out of University of the Philippines is set to follow the path of San-En Neophoenix’s Thirdy Ravena.
“I am honored to be part of the EarthFriends Tokyo Z Team,” Gomez de Liano said in a video message posted by the club on its social media accounts. “I am very excited to battle it out with you guys and to be part of this journey.
“I am looking forward to meeting you all soon. I hope I can count on your continuous support through the challenges ahead. Let’s get it!” added the 21-year-old guard.
Gomez De Liano heads to the Japanese club with two years left on his UAAP eligibility with the Fighting Maroons.
The absence of the UAAP games during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Gomez de Liano to focus on stints with Nueva Ecija in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup and Gilas Pilipinas in the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Bahrain last November.
EarthFriends finished seventh in the East district of the 2020-21 B.League division two season with a 13-46 record.
The signing is the latest in a growing trend that has seen collegiate players accept offers to play overseas like Ravena for the Neophoenix in the B.League’s top division, former Far Eastern University players Ken Tuffin and Joseph Nunag in New Zealand and Jack Animam, perhaps the country’s top women’s baller, playing in Taiwan.
Kiefer Ravena was supposed to take the lead of his younger brother with the Shiga Lakestars, only to be barred by the PBA Board of Governors due to his live pact with the NLEX Road Warriors.