B.League: Carl Tamayo raring to help Ryukyu with his versatility
MANILA, Philippines — Carl Tamayo believes he has a lot to offer for powerhouse Ryukyu Golden Kings in his first professional stint in the 2022-23 Japan B.League season.
Tamayo says his versatility on both ends of the floor will be of big help for Ryukyu.
“I think the strength of me as a player, is I could stretch the floor, I could play defense on a small guy, so I will be able to switch. I could play in the post, I could shoot from range and I think those are the strengths that I have,” said Tamayo during his introductory press conference on Thursday.
The former University of the Philippines star, who decided to forgo his remaining playing years in the UAAP after two seasons, credited his shooting to Goldwin Monteverde, who has been his coach since he started playing basketball at age 13.
“My coach in the Philippines, coach Goldwin really helps me to develop as a player. He taught me a lot about basketball so I really worked hard for my shooting day in and day out,” he said. “It’s very important in basketball to have shooting because it [has] a lot of purposes so I really worked hard for it.”
The 22-year-old forward also hopes to learn from his team in his first stint as a pro.
“I still have a lot of things to learn, to improve on and I think in this kind of organization, I think I’ll be improving a lot as a young player. I want to learn more and add more strength for me as a player,” Tamayo said.
“I’m still working to be more consistent with my shooting. But of course, I’m here to develop more skills for myself and to be able to help the team,” he added.
Tamayo, a vital part of UP’s historic title run last year and two-time UAAP juniors champion with Nazareth School, is eager to help the Golden Kings get over the hump this season after they lost in the previous finals against the Utsunomiya Brex.
“I’m very excited having a winning team for me the first time I turned pro is a very big deal. Having a winning team means they have a great culture, very disciplined. That’s everything I look up to play. I’m very blessed to have this opportunity to play with a winning team, a great organization and culture team,” the Cebuano said. “I think I’m not that pressured because the team is doing well. I think they will help me, not just about me, it’s the team so I’m just gonna help what I could help to the team.”
Ryukyu is also looking forward to parading Tamayo as its Asian import.
“He is an outstanding player from Philippine college basketball and he is the ace of the UP Maroons. And he is such a huge force to the team. We would like to start developing our team with him and then we’ll have a good future,” said Ryukyu general manager Junichi Yasunaga.
Tamayo is expected to make his B.League debut after the Fiba break. The Golden Kings (29-9) are currently riding a six-game winning streak. He averaged 13.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in two UAAP seasons.
“I was very honored to be picked as their Asian import. I’m just going to do everything I could to help and contribute to the team in any way. I’m very excited to play,” he said. “To all the fans, please support me, especially the team, in our upcoming games in the EASL, Emperor’s Cup, and B. League. Thank you so much for welcoming me. I’m very happy that everyone welcomed me and everyone’s happy that I’m here.”