Tamayo enjoys playing with PBA stars

Carl Tamayo, one of the few collegiate standouts included in the Gilas Pilipinas training team, is relishing the opportunity of playing with his more experienced, more notable teammates from the Philippine Basketball Association.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore star of University of the Philippines, is fighting for a spot in the national squad that will play in the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this November.
Gilas will face Jordan on 7 November before taking on Saudi Arabia on 10 November.

Tamayo is working double shift — as premier player of the Fighting Maroons and as one of the holdovers of the Gilas squad — and without a guaranteed spot, he knows that he has to perform at a high level during training sessions.

He, however, said playing along with some of the more experienced players from the PBA gives him a chance to boost his stock, which he can use in his campaign in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and international competitions.

“I’m happy, because I idolize these players. I didn’t expect that I will be given this opportunity of playing with them or becoming teammates with them,” Tamayo told Daily Tribune.

“But I’m grateful with this opportunity because I’ll have the chance to learn more as I’m playing with the best players in the country. They’ve been here for a long time, so I’m willing to learn.”

Tamayo is among the collegiate stars training with Gilas along with Kevin Quiambao of De La Salle University and naturalized player Ange Kouame of Ateneo de Manila University.

Tamayo said having to work with UP and Gilas is worth it as he gets the best of both worlds — first as a member of the champion team of UP and, second, as a possible part of the World Cup squad.

At Gilas, he gets the chance of playing with the best in the country led by six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, reigning MVP Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, CJ Perez, Roger Pogoy, and young stars Jamie Malonzo and Calvin Oftana as well as naturalized candidate Justin Brownlee.

If he gets lucky, he would also get another chance to play with National Basketball standout Jordan Clarkson, who served as his teammate in the fourth window of the Asian Qualifiers.

“Who would have thought that I’ll be able to get this chance of playing with NBA star Jordan Clarkson. At this early part of my career, I was getting the opportunity of a lifetime,” he added.

“I’ll never forget this moment.”

Tamayo said he is willing to do whatever it takes just to be able to represent the country.

“I’m grateful that I’m always available and ready to serve the country,” Tamayo said.

“Even if it’s hard, even if it’s tiring sometimes, I’m willing to endure it because I want to serve the country.”

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