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Gonzales relishes chance of being mentored by PBA greats in Racela, Abarrientos

by Niel Victor Masoy, October 25, 2019 6:14pm

L-Jay Gonzales is having a solid sophomore season for the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 82 Men’s basketball tournament.

Through 13 games into FEU’s elimination campaign, the San Mateo, Isabela-native put up 10.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. 

Other than his pure talent or skill, however, Gonzales’ fine play can be largely attributed to him being mentored by Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) greats like Olsen Racela and Johnny Abarrientos.

All three are his coaches right now at FEU.

And for the 5-foot-9 Gonzales, he just relishes the opportunity to learn from three of the best point guards in Philippine basketball history.

“Syempre sobrang laking tiwala kasi isipin mo PBA legends na yun. Sobrang sarap ng feeling na andyan sila para magturo, nandyan sila para turuan ka kung anong mali mo. Sobrang saya ko, sobrang sarap ng feeling na nandyan sila araw-araw para magturo para sa akin at para sa team namin,” said Gonzales.

For reference, Racela was a solid playmaker in the PBA, especially when he was playing for the San Miguel Beermen. The 5-foot-11 point guard was a nine-time PBA champion, a two-time First Mythical Team member, and a six-time PBA All-Star.

On the other hand, Abarrientos was arguably the best point guard in PBA history. While he’s just 5-foot-7, Abarientos went on to become a 12-time PBA champion, a six-time First Mythical Team member, an eight-time PBA All-Star, and a one-time Most Valuable Player (1996).

“Para sa akin sobrang malaking bagay yun eh. Syempre sobrang nagtitiwala sa akin si coach Olsen, sobrang ginagamit niya ako. Kung ano yung ipapagawa nila, susunod lang ako then gagawin ko lahat para sa kanila tsaka para masuklian ko naman sila,” remarked Gonzales.

“Syempre PBA legend na yung mga nagsasabi, sila coach Johhny na ganito gagawin mo ganyan. Set the tone mo ah, umpisahan mo para pagdating ng second group, susunod din sila.”

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