Carl Tamayo remains a king wherever he goes after winning the championship in his very first year with the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the B.League.
The UAAP Season 84 Rookie of the Year is grateful to experience another milestone in his basketball career.
“Syempre masaya kasi as a basketball player, ‘yun ‘yung goal mo, mag-champion. And ‘yung mag-champion in your very first year as a professional is a very big achievement for me,” Tamayo said.
The standout from Talisay, Cebu believes that he has grown leaps and bounds after his first year in the pro ranks.
“It’s pro level na. So different culture, different approach to the game, different training, magkaiba talaga. Syempre ‘yung maturity sa game, ‘yun ‘yung malaking bagay na natutunan ko,” added Tamayo, who only played in 40 games during his rookie year.
And now, the 6-foot-7 stretch 4 is back in town, bringing with him the news of his inclusion in the national team pool for none other than the grandest stage of the sport—the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
He shared, “Masaya kasi as a Filipino basketball player, your dream is to represent your country, and to have that opportunity to serve the country, malaking bagay talaga para sa ‘kin.
“Simula nung bata pa ako, pangarap ko na to have that opportunity.”
Tamayo had to beg off from the remaining windows of the World Cup qualifiers last year to recover from his injury, which he sustained during the third window, and to focus on his eventual final year with University of the Philippines.
Turning professional in Japan afterwards further delayed his return to Gilas Pilipinas.
But now that he is on the preliminary list, the Tamayo is ready to do everything he can to wear the Three Stars and the Sun in the Worlds, right here in the Philippines.
“Whatever the team needs, ‘yun naman talaga ‘yung gagawin ko. I don’t want to focus on myself, but on what the team needs from me.”