CARL Tamayo is looking forward to teaming up with Kai Sotto for the very first time with Batang Gilas, months before they are to become rivals again in the UAAP juniors basketball.
After playing for the Gilas cadets side in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, Tamayo, one of the top high school prospects in the country today, made it to the Batang Gilas pool for the 2018 Fiba Under-17 Basketball World Cup to be held in Argentina.
That sets the stage for a twin-tower partnership with Ateneo high school star Sotto in a Philippine squad tasked to take on the best youth teams in the world - months before facing off in the UAAP where Tamayo is back with National University after his transfer from Adamson.
“Malaking bagay sa akin na kakampi ko ‘yung best of the best high school players in the Philippines. Malaking challenge sa akin,” the 6-7 Tamayo said.
Anticipating his partnership with the 7-1 Sotto, Tamayo said he's preparing himself to play the small forward role: “Siyempre big man ako pero ngayon, wino-work out ko ‘yung pagiging three ko, ‘yung handles ko. Kaya naman.”
Tamayo said it's an honor to be one of the chosen few to represent the Philippines in the Fiba Under-17 Basketball World Cup in only the second time the country got this far following their maiden appearance in 2014.
The NU standout hopes to use the knowledge he gained from his practices with Gilas cadets pool.
“’Yung pagiging disciplined sa court at ‘yung pagigign patient sa court, running the system, sharing the ball, ‘yun ‘yung natutunan ko sa Gilas cadets na puwede kong i-share sa Batang Gilas,” said Tamayo.