UAAP: UP rookie Carl Tamayo attributes early success to hard work
MANILA, Philippines — Carl Tamayo worked his way to accomplish a tremendous rookie year and an epic title success for University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.
“Hard work lang talaga. Every day, kahit anong situation, nagka-pandemic, hindi ako tumigil. Gumawa ako ng paraan para ma-improve ko ‘yung skills ko as a player. ‘Yun lang naman lagi, talagang ‘wag titigil,” said the Rookie of the Year after UP’s dramatic 72-69 conquest over Ateneo in the winner-take-all Game 3 on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“Sobrang blessed ko. Lahat ng hard work, nag-pay off. Walang personal goal, talagang ginagawa ko lang lahat para maipanalo ‘yung team.”
(I worked hard every day. Whatever the situation, pandemic, I didn’t stop improving on my skills as a player. I feel blessed that it paid off. I didn’t have any personal goal, all I did was to help my team win.)
The two-time UAAP juniors champion out of Nazareth School, whose seniors debut was delayed by the pandemic, was happy to continue their winning tradition under coach Goldwin Monteverde at UP, which finally ended a 36-year title drought behind the gutsy game-winner of JD Cagulangan.
“Coach Gold always reminded us to never give up whatever happens. Puso sa laro, puso sa ensayo. Pinanindigan namin na walang bibitaw, kahit anong mangyari (Play and train our hearts out. We stood our ground),” said Tamayo. “After 36 years, nakuha namin ‘yung (we were able to get the) championship.
The 6-foot-7 forward, who averaged 13.28 points and 7.78 rebounds in 18 games in his first season, was limited to just six points in Game 3. But he knew his teammates would step up when it mattered most.
“Yung mga teammates namin, alam namin nasa likod namin sila. Magkamali kami or maganda ginawa namin, alam ko andiyan sila. Alam ng bawat isa na andiyan ang teammates namin para sa amin,” said the Mythical team member.
“Hangga’t hindi nag-buzzer ‘yung last buzzer ng game. Alam ko, teammates ko, gagawa at gagawa ng paraan para maipanalo namin ‘yung laro at naipanalo nga namin.”
(Our teammates got our back. If we make mistakes or we play well, they will be there for us. I knew my teammates would do whatever it takes to win until the final buzzer.)
After an impressive rookie year, Tamayo’s sophomore season is just around the corner as the UAAP Season 85 is set to open in September.
For now, the 21-year-old wants to cherish his first championship in the collegiate level and take a short break from basketball coming from a tiring bubble. And he promises that UP’s third UAAP crown after ruling the 1939 and 1986 seasons won’t be the last.
“We want to continue to build this culture that UP is no longer a (pushover), it’s a winning team because of Coach Gold and his staff’s system,” Tamayo said.