MANILA, Philippines—After an early exit in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament, Far Eastern University will look to rely more on veteran L-Jay Gonzales next season.
In FEU’s season-ender on Saturday, Gonzales led a 77-62 rout of University of Santo Tomas as the Tamaraws finished with a 5-9 record.
FEU coach Olsen Racela lauded Gonzales, who finished with a team-high 15 points, four rebounds and four assists.
“Well, his skill is always there. L-Jay is already very good. He just needs more maturity and more understanding of the game of basketball. He needs more time, games and season. Hopefully, by next season, he’s more than ready for the next level,” said Racela.
The playmaker averaged 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per outing in the Tamaraws, who will miss the Final Four for the first time since 2012.
Racela said Gonzales also dealt with several injuries this season which held him back from being more aggressive on offense.
“For L-Jay, he had to face so many injuries that slowed him down. Now, he’s battling plantar fasciitis, an ankle injury. He also got hit in the nose at one point, a freak accident in practice,” he explained.
Gonzales, however, is unsure whether he will stay with FEU or not. He still has one year of eligibility left.
If Gonzales does decide to stay with the Tamaraws, he aims to work on the team’s play down the stretch.
“For me, we’re still not there yet. Maybe we need to work more on it. As our coach said, the effort is there but we need to finish in the fourth quarter, we need to finish [better],” the 23-year-old said.
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