UP ‘fully supports’ Carl Tamayo’s decision to play in Japan
MANILA, Philippines—University of the Philippines said it completely understood the departure of Carl Tamayo from the Fighting Maroons to play overseas in the Japan B.League.
In a statement released by Fighting Maroons through team manager Atty. Agaton Uvero on Facebook, he said the team fully supports the star sophomore’s decision to take his talents to Japan–a move trailblazed by former Ateneo star Thirdy Ravena, the first Asian import to be signed by a Japanese club.
“As much as the UP community would love him to play even for one more season, we truly understand and fully support his decision. Covid, the K-12 program and recent developments (openings) in the basketball leagues of Korea, Taiwan and Japan has greatly changed the college basketball scene in the Philippines,” posted Uvero.
Tamayo announced his plans to go pro after just two seasons with UP via a lengthy Instagram post, where he also explained why he decided to forgo his remaining three playing years in the UAAP.
“Becoming a professional basketball player is a dream I have had ever since I started playing organized basketball. It will allow me to care for my family while playing the game that I love,” Tamayo’s post read.
The UP management also acknowledged the changes in players’ maturity over the years, already gaining enough experience to get offers from overseas clubs despite only having played collegiate basketball.
After Ravena, several players just out of college–which includes Dave Ildefonso who just recently officially joined a team in the Korean Basketball League–also took the overseas route instead of declaring for the PBA Draft.
The 21-year-old Tamayo, though, has already demonstrated why he is one of Philippine basketball’s brightest prospects even with just a few years of amateur basketball and national team experience.
“Players from high school now are older and much more mature compared to seasons past, with some of these athletes almost ready for the pros,” Uvero said. “Carl is certainly a special talent. He received offers from abroad even before he played his first college game.”
In two UAAP seasons, Tamayo averaged 13.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in Season 85. He also posted norms of 13.1 markers and 7.3 boards in his Rookie of the Year stint in Season 84.
As of writing, Tamayo has not disclosed which team he would play for in the B.League.
The UPMBT management also expressed its gratitude for the big man, who helped gain UP its first title after 36 years.
“Playing basketball is not a lifetime career, we wish him the best of luck and we will pray for greater success. The UP community will always cherish the memories of UAAP seasons 84 and 85.”