Carl Tamayo comes through for Gilas despite ankle injury
MANILA, Philippines—A sprained ankle didn’t stop Carl Tamayo from representing the country and helping Gilas Pilipinas to get back on the winning track.
After the 21-year-old forward sprained his ankle in a 46-point loss to New Zealand last Thursday, Philippine men’s basketball team coach Nenad Vucinic said that Tamayo is not likely to recover in three days and “not gonna be effective as he would be without an injury.”
But Tamayo still showed up and delivered nine points, nine rebounds, and three steals in 23 minutes and 13 seconds of playing time as Gilas took down India, 79-63, on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“It’s always my dream to represent the country. Even I’m still in pain, I wanted to suit up. I don’t want to use it as an excuse because my team needs me,” said Tamayo in Filipino. “We lacked players and there is no reason for me not to play. It doesn’t matter if I have a sprained ankle or not.”
Prior to the third window, the national team already lost naturalized center Ange Kouame due to a partial ACL tear. The squad played with an 11-member roster in its 60-106 loss to New Zealand in Auckland.
The University of the Philippines’ top rookie was the lone bright spot in that blowout with 16 points and five rebounds before he hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter.
Before their match against India, Dave Ildefonso was ruled out due to an injury. That’s why Tamayo didn’t want to leave his team behind and played through a bum ankle.
The 6-foot-7 Tamayo’s risk to play through an injury paid off as Gilas finally ended a three-game skid dating back to its back-to-back exhibition losses to Korea.
“I’m happy because we suffered three straight losses including our tune-up games against Korea. Although we still need a lot of improvement as a team, we’re happy to get this much-needed win,” Tamayo said.
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