Many would say that the decision of Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, and Gerry Abadiano was easy to make.
Of course, who wouldn’t want to study at De La Salle University and University of the Philippines — both blue-blood schools with strong alumni backing.
But easy as the decision may look, the trio admitted during an episode of The Prospects Pod, presented by SMART Sports and supported by Chris Sports, that it was the toughest decision they had to make.
And their respective families played a huge part in the process.
“For me, sobrang hirap kasi like nung other players na pumunta sa college, graduating, diba mahirap mag-decide ng basta-basta lang eh. Kailangan pag-isipan. And nandiyan ‘yung parents ko, ‘yung family ko para humingi ako advice, guidance, kung anong school ‘yung maganda sa akin. And ‘yun, natulungan naman nila ako and ‘yung napili nilang school for me,” shared 19-year-old floor general Gerry Abadiano.
“Tulad nga ng sabi ni Gerry, napili ko ‘tong school na ‘to dahil family’s decision na ‘yung suporta ng family ko sa akin. ‘Yun ‘yung naging factor kasi simula pagkabata ko, kumbaga parang soldier ako sa kanila. Susundin ko lang kung ano ‘yung nasa puso ko and nasa puso rin nila,” expressed 19-year-old big man Kevin Quiambao.
“Mahirap din ‘yung decision sa akin kasi marami rin naman opportunity na pumupunta sa akin eh. Pero siguro ‘yun din, family choice, and inisip lang din naman nila ‘yung best for me, so naisip namin UP,” said 19-year-old stretch forward Carl Tamayo, whose second mom Mary Anne was also from UP.
The trio created plenty of memories during their three-year stay in Nazareth School-NU.
Together, they dominated the competition, winning in the UAAP, other leagues, and of course, the NBTC National Finals twice.
Besides those memories, what made the decision hard was them parting ways with their mentor Goldwin Monteverde.
“Parang tatay na talaga namin siya. Siya ang nag-build sa akin as a person, as an athlete, ‘di ba?
“Marami siyang natulong na hindi lang sa loob ng court, pati na rin sa labas ng court. Paano namin i-handle ‘yung mga situation na mahirap. And siguro ‘yung pinakamami-miss ko sa kanya [ay] ‘yung sinasabi niya lagi na every time na nahihirapan ka, mas lalo mo pang galingan and every time na may mahirap na mangyayari,” expressed Abadiano, Monteverde’s most loyal soldier.
Nothing comes easy, though.
At their new schools, all three know that they have to work harder than ever to break in.
Fortunately, Monteverde already prepped them for moments like these during the time they spent together.
“Sa akin siguro, hindi magiging madali lahat as a rookie. Siyempre hindi porket ginagamit ka sa high school o malaki ‘yung playing time mo, same din ‘yung gagawin sa’yo sa college. Iba naman ‘yung usapan sa college ‘di ba?” said Abadiano, who will be the lead guard of UP.
“Siguro as a rookie, siguro I will try to learn more sa collegiate basketball. Siguro process lang kasi ang daming nagsasabi sa akin na iba naman ‘yung laro sa college at sa high school eh. Iba ‘yung pisikalan, iba ‘yung mindset mo sa laro. So ‘yun, siguro dapat mag-learn ako ng marami so the next year, iba naman ‘yung ile-learn ko sa next year ko after the rookie year,” added Tamayo, who will play behind Kobe Paras.
“Talagang paghihirapan namin kasi mabigat kalaban ‘tong UP, lalo na ‘yung dati kong ka-twin tower, ngayon babantayan ko na,” quipped Quiambao.