Carl Tamayo cheering on former rival Kai Sotto: I pray he achieves his dream | Inquirer Sports

Carl Tamayo cheering on former rival Kai Sotto: I pray he achieves his dream

/ 05:08 PM April 29, 2022
Adelaide 36ers Kai Sotto

Kai Sotto. Adelaide 36ers Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Kai Sotto’s former high school rival, Carl Tamayo, was extremely proud of the 7-foot-3 center’s decision to declare in the 2022 NBA Rookie draft.

“Siyempre excited ako kay Kai. Masaya ako sa kanya na yung pambato natin na homegrown Filipino tinatayo niya talaga yung bandera ng Pilipinas,” said Tamayo after University of the Philippines’ 96-67 victory over University of Santo Tomas on Thursday in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball.

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(I’m so excited for Kai. I’m happy for him as a homegrown Filipino raising the country’s flag [in the NBA Rookie Draft].)

Sotto and Tamayo brought the best out of each other in their back-to-back UAAP junior’s Finals clash in 2017 and 2018.

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Sotto and the Ateneo Blue Eaglets beat Tamayo and the Nazareth School Bullpups in Finals Game 3 to win the Season 80 with the center emerging as the Finals MVP.

In the following season, Tamayo exacted a sweet revenge, winning the Finals MVP as Nazareth School swept Ateneo and Sotto, who was named as Season MVP that year.

The two teamed up in the Philippine youth and senior’s basketball team.

Carl Tamayo UP UAAP Season 84

Carl Tamayo. Photo from UAAP

Four years after their high school rivalry, the 6-foot-7 Fighting Maroon said his Gilas Pilipinas teammate is part of his prayers.

“Kasali naman siya lagi sa prayers ko na sana yung dream niya makamit niya and sana suportahan natin siya lagi sa bawat laro niya kapag nadraft na siya,” Tamayo said.

(I’m always praying for him that he achieves his dream. Let’s support him in his hames if he gets drafted.)

Both young big men have come a long way since as Sotto showed his potential with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League, while Tamayo emerged as one of UP’s main men in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament, where the Maroons sealed the No.2 seed with an 11-2 record.

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Tamayo encourages the basketball fans to be happy and keep on supporting Sotto in his bid to become the first Filipino homegrown talent to play in the NBA

“Let’s be happy with Kai and keep on supporting him,” he said.

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TAGS: 2022 NBA Draft, Carl Tamayo, Kai Sotto
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