Carl Tamayo bolsters powerhouse Ryukyu in B.League
MANILA, Philippines — Carl Tamayo is taking his act to the Ryukyu Golden Kings in his first professional stint in the Japan B.League.
The Japanese club team on Wednesday welcomed Tamayo as its Asian import for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.
The 21-year-old forward out of University of the Philippines will be Ryukyu’s second Filipino import this season after ex-PBA player Jay Washington signed with the team but was released last December.
Tamayo can’t wait to take the next step of his basketball career, joining the growing list of Filipinos playing in Japan.
“I am honored and very excited to be part of this great organization, Ryukyu Golden Kings. Can’t wait to play with you guys! See you soon!“ said Tamayo in a statement.
After playing two UAAP seasons, the 6-foot-7 forward kissed his final goodbye to the UP Fighting Maroons, deciding to forgo his three remaining playing years and fulfill his dream to play in the pro ranks.
Tamayo had a short but impressive collegiate career, helping UP end a 36-year championship drought in Season 84 when he was also named as the top rookie and a mythical team member. He won his second straight All-UAAP men’s basketball team award in the following season but the Fighting Maroons settled for silver after losing to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Season 85 Finals Game 3 last December.
The Gilas Pilipinas cadet is joining a powerhouse team, composed of former Meralco import Allen Durham, Josh Duncan, and Jack Cooley as well as Japanese players Hugh Watanabe, Koh Flippin, and Keita Imamura.
Ryukyu is currently in fifth place, holding a 21-7 record.
Tamayo will be a big boost to the Golden Kings after he averaged team-best 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in his final UAAP tournament in Season 85.
Interestingly, Tamayo could also play against the San Miguel Beermen, who are grouped with Ryukyu, in the East Asia Super League in March.
Tamayo is the 10th Filipino player currently signed in the B.League along with Bobby Ray Parks Jr. of Nagoya, Matthew Wright of Kyoto, Kiefer Ravena of Shiga, Thirdy Ravena of San-En NeoPhoenix, and Dwight Ramos of Levanga Hokkaido as well as Division 2’s Greg Slaughter of Fukuoka, Kobe Paras of Chiba, Jordan Heading of Nagasaki, and Roosevelt Adams of Kagawa.