Carl Tamayo earns coach’s praise as he shines in Ryukyu home debut
OKINAWA — Carl Tamayo showed out in his first home game in a Ryukyu uniform on Saturday night.
The former University of the Philippines star put up 13 points, two rebounds and a block in the Golden Kings’ 83-78 win over Taipei Fubon Braves in the East Asia Super League Champions Week here.
“I feel great. I’m thankful of my teammates, they just gave me the confidence to just keep taking shots,” he said shortly after the win at Okinawa Arena that had the club rising to 2-0 in Group A play.
“And also to my fellow Filipinos who came out (to watch). That really motivated me,” he added.
It was quite an improvement for Tamayo, after finishing with just four points in his pro debut in Utsunomiya two nights ago.
Ryukyu coach Dai Oketani also heaped praises on the 22-year-old forward.
“He did a great performance. He could play the big man position,” Oketani said with the aid of a translator. “Tamayo could open the space for others. Even if he didn’t get many points, it’s his overall play that was very positive for us.”
“When we signed up to our team, we expected to play him at 3 and 4. You can expect that in the (B.League) season,” he added.
As impressive as his outing was, Tamayo’s performance may have been for naught as the Golden Kings will have to settle for the third-place showdown against the Bay Area Dragons.
That’s no thanks to Rhenz Abando and the Anyang KGC who beat their two foes—which includes San Miguel Beer—by an average of 40 points.
Anyang thus arranges an all-Korea winner-take-all against Seoul this Sunday night.