He gave it his all in his final year.
The FEU Tamaraws lost their final game in UAAP Season 86 to finish their campaign with a lowly 3-11 record.
The Morayta-based squad absorbed a 57-53 defeat to cellar-dweller UST Growling Tigers on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Outgoing senior Ljay Gonzales only scored four points in his UAAP farewell.
Despite the disappointing ending to his collegiate career, it would be wrong to disparage what Gonzales has done for FEU, especially in his final year. Playing hurt and all, he still emerged as the Tamaraws’ best player and biggest shot-maker most of the time.
After a rough campaign, it would be best for FEU fans to take the good with the bad, just as Gonzales did after losing to UST for the second time this season.
“Sobrang happy na may halong lungkot kasi hindi na ko makakabalik dito sa UAAP,” the crafty point guard said when asked about his UAAP career.
“Happy ako na natapos ko ‘yung season ko ng maayos. Kahit na may injuries ako, pinilit ko pa rin maglaro kasi gusto kong mai-share din kung anong mayroon ako sa UAAP,” he elaborated.
Gonzales, who sank the walk-off game-winner over the Ateneo Blue Eagles in their second round encounter, is the latest standout to come out of FEU, following in the footsteps of the likes of Johnny Abarrientos, Arwind Santos, Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia, and Mac Belo, among others.
And his fellow FEU greats are surely proud of him.
ALSO READ: School Spirit: FEU starting five among active players in PBA
Instead of sulking due to the loss, Gonzales expressed his gratitude for the time he spent with the Tamaraws and the people who helped him thrive in the UAAP.
“Happy ako na tinulungan ako ng coaches na laging nandiyan, laging nag-a-advice sa’min. Sobrang thankful ako sa FEU community,” added Gonzales.
As for his next chapter, the King Tamaraw said he needs to heal, first and foremost, before setting his sights on anywhere else.
“Magpapatanggal muna ko ng bone spurs. Pagkatapos magpatanggal ng bone spurs, rehab, tapos ‘yun (sunod na plano),” Gonzales disclosed.
(With reports from Aivan Episcope, One Sports Digital)