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Tamayo throws all-out support for rival-turned-friend Sotto

If there is one player who can understand and fully sympathize with the pressure that Kai Sotto is experiencing as he chases his NBA dream, it is Carl Tamayo of University of the Philippines.

Sotto and Tamayo were rivals when they represented Ateneo High School and Nazareth School-National University, respectively, in the UAAP Season 81 High School Boys’ Basketball finals. Tamayo won the battle.

They then played for Gilas most recently together last year under coach Tab Baldwin in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers in Clark, Pampanga; and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia.

And it was on the national team where the two became good friends.

2021-fiba-oqt-belgrade-serbia-def-gilas-heading-x-tamayo-x-sotto-x-go Tamayo throws all-out support for rival-turned-friend Sotto Basketball NBA Philippines News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

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“Siyempre excited ako para kay Kai.

“Masaya ako para sa kanya. Alam niyo yun? Siya ang pambato natin na homegrown na Pilipino,” said the 21-year-old Cebuano.

With such a colorful history together already, it comes as no surprise that Tamayo is wishing his fellow giant Sotto well. The latter currently looks to go where no homegrown Filipino cager has gone before – the NBA.

Perhaps, aside from winning an Olympic gold medal, having a Filipino player drafted and regularly playing in the NBA is an obsession for the Philippines. It is not hyperbolic to state that Sotto is carrying the hopes of a nation.

Tamayo will be there to provide his 100-percent support for his close friend.

2021-fiba-oqt-belgrade-serbia-def-gilas-kai-sotto Tamayo throws all-out support for rival-turned-friend Sotto Basketball NBA Philippines News UAAP UP  - philippine sports news

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“Tinatayo niya talaga yung bandera ng Pilipinas.

“Kasali lagi siya sa prayers ko na sana yung dream niya, makamit niya,” said the two-time UAAP Juniors champion.

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Throughout his journey to make it to the NBA, Sotto has faced and will continue to face naysayers who are willing to pounce on every misstep. The reward will be high but the pitfalls can be very damaging.

And Tamayo enjoins everyone to fully support him on his path.

“Sana suportahan natin siya lagi sa bawat laro niya. Pag na-draft na siya, suportahan natin. Yun lang. Let’s be happy for Kai and then suporta lang.”

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Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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