CEBUANO youngster Carl Tamayo is set to become the youngest player inside the Gilas Pilipinas bubble after he was invited to join the team’s training sessions when inside the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna on Monday.
Tamayo, who hails from Talisay City, will be flying to Manila on Sunday after he got the invite from Gilas officials on Friday afternoon. Safe to say, the invite caught the youngster by surprise.
“Wala ko nag-expect,” said Tamayo, who is going to play for the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons when the UAAP commences in the future. “I just feel blessed and grateful.”
Although Tamayo is excited to train with some of the best young players the country has to offer, the 20-year old does not expect to act like a deer in headlights once he steps on the floor.
“Dili ka rako kulbaan basta basketball,” a confident Tamayo said. “Duwa lang jud ko, whether it’s FIBA World Cup or the UAAP, I’m going to play the way I play.”
A two-time UAAP juniors Finals MVP, the 6-foot-7 forward will bring a lot to the table for the regular Gilas players, said his head coach at UP, Bo Perasol.
“Carl has what it takes to help bring our Gilas team into serious contention. Skilled, young, full of talent with a very positive attitude, I truly believe in what he brings to our national team,” said Perasol.
Tamayo will be joining the Gilas draftees from 2019, namely Rey Anthony Suerte, Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto and Allyn Bulanadi as well as the upcoming Gilas draftees in Jaydee Tungcab, Jordan Heading, Tzaddy Rangel and Will Navarro.
The Gilas Pilipinas will be training inside a bubble for a month in preparation for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and the FIBA Asia Cup. (JNP)