Young stars Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao clash on UAAP opening day | Inquirer Sports

Young stars Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao clash on UAAP opening day

/ 05:40 PM September 30, 2022
Young stars Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao clash in the opening day of the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament.

Young stars Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao clash in the opening day of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament. –FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines — Former high school teammates Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao clash for the first time as defending champion University of the Philippines opens its title-retention bid against La Salle in the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The rematch of last season’s Final Four match up, which features the two Gilas Pilipinas big men, is set at 4 p.m. 

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After playing together at Nazareth School of National University and winning two UAAP juniors titles, Quiambao is set to make his college debut for the Green Archers against  former coach Goldwin Monteverde and ex-teammates Tamayo, Gerry Abadiano, Terrence Fortea, and Harold Alarcon.

The 21-year-old Quiambao, who last played in the UAAP two years ago during the juniors’ basketball championship, is raring to play against his fellow Nazareth School standouts who helped end the Fighting Maroons’ 36-year title drought.

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“I’m so excited (to play against them) at the same time I was happy to witness their success last season from our progress when we were in high school,” said the La Salle rookie. “In fact, we talked before that wherever (school) we go, the goal is to win a championship.”

Tamayo, last season’s top rookie who is now tasked to lead UP, downplayed his marquee match-up against the 6-foot-4 forward with his sole focus to help his team win the first game of their title-retention bid.

“It’s not about Kevin or me, it’s about UP or La Salle. Whoever will be the better team this upcoming opening day,” said the 6-foot-7 Cebuano, who was also a member of Season 84’s mythical team. “We’re just going to compete. I am going to help my team as much as I can to win this game.”

Gilas Pilipinas' young stars vs New Zealand.

Gilas Pilipinas’ young stars vs New Zealand. –FIBA BASKETBALL

Tamayo and Quiambao both had a fruitful offseason as they played for Gilas together in the third window of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers and the Asian Cup last July. The Fighting Maroon also saw action in the fourth window against Lebanon with Kai Sotto and NBA star Jordan Clarkson.

La Salle holds a grudge against UP as Tamayo’s heroics erased the the Green Archers’ 14-point lead in the last four minutes of their do-or-die Final Four game to set a championship duel with Ateneo, which it beat in Game 3 for the historic title.

Quiambao may not have been part of the team when it suffered the heartbreaking semifinal loss, but he is promising to help La Salle that it won’t happen again.

“All of us players cannot forget that loss last season. This year, I want to help them by embracing my role. And as much as possible, I won’t let my team experience that kind of situation again. Every game and every possession, we will give our best,” he said.

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Both La Salle and UP had a fruitful preseason with the Green Archers ruling the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, finishing third in the FilOil EcoOil Cup, and capping their preparation in Japan, while the Maroons participated in the FilOil and UCBL and trained in South Korea.

The Season 85 opening ceremony will be pre-recorded, before Adamson and UST kick off the men’s basketball season at 2 p.m. 

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TAGS: Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, La Salle Green Archers, UAAP Season 85, UP Fighting Maroons
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