MANILA, Philippines – Opening strong even though his spectacular college career didn’t have the fairytale conclusion that many had hoped for, former FEU star L-Jay Gonzales has opened an exciting new chapter in basketball history as the star of the Quezon Huskers, the team playing in their first-ever MPBL season.
The second-year team that was just starting to make waves in the MPBL ranks made headlines when they signed Gonzales, solidifying their position as one of the most powerful guard-heavy rosters in the league. Besides securing the services of Gonzales as the franchise cornerstone to construct around, Quezon further bolstered their backcourt by acquiring a handful of the newest Huskers members who also boast Far Eastern University ties from recent UAAP seasons.
Athletic two-way standouts like defensive stopper Rodel Gravera, energetic swingman Ximone Sandagon, deadeye floor-spacer Ken Holmqvist, and backup combo guard Alfrancis Tamsi complete the sudden infusion of proven collegiate talents migrating from FEU to the Huskers franchise. With expectations now sky-high for coach Jerson Cabiltes’ rising squad, all eyes turn to newly minted marquee attraction L-Jay Gonzales to seamlessly carry over his well-rounded dominance and translate it into Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League stardom.
Along with Gonzales, who they acquired as their marquee addition, several of the newest Huskers players also arrive with connections to Far Eastern University, having played for the esteemed green-and-gold Tamaraws team at different times during the previous five years. Alongside L-Jay in Quezon are other former standouts from FEU, like defensive master Rodel Gravera, athletic swingman Ximone Sandagon, rangy sniper Ken Holmqvist, and backup combo guard Alfrancis Tamsi.
The Quezon faithful have very high expectations because of this unexpected injection of proven collegiate quality. With the right players, the Huskers can move up the standings significantly, provided that the FEU products can swiftly synchronize and transfer their two-way skills in the face of MPBL pressure.
L-Jay Gonzales, the newest franchise star, is the person who is best suited to manage the change. A few months ago, during UAAP Season 86, the five-foot-ten Isabela native had an incredible finish to his amateur career, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was ready for the professional ranks. During the campaign, Gonzales led the Tamaraws in a number of important statistical categories. He averaged 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals per game, which is an excellent two-way performance that speaks to his incredibly versatile skill set both with and without the ball.
The young leader for the Huskers was one of the UAAP’s top players in total minutes played during that farewell campaign, conclusively demonstrating his ironman durability to handle significant usage when coach Jerson Cabiltes needed it. Logging heavy minutes nightly, Gonzales paced the Tamaraws in multiple statistical categories like scoring, rebounding, and distributing en route to conference accolades.
Now entering his first full season in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, franchise cornerstone Gonzales is expected to embrace an even more expansive role and lead his Quezon squad to significant development as they emerge as contenders on the MPBL scene. Though the Huskers roster has added a handful of Gonzales’ seasoned fellow collegiate standouts from Far Eastern University, much of the playmaking burden will fall upon L-Jay’s shoulders. But the do-it-all combo guard has both the multifaceted skill set and tireless motor to catalyze the Huskers’ rapid ascension all while compiling gaudy box score production of his own.