WITH all the hype surrounding Carl Tamayo, it begs to be asked if he ever considered heading overseas just like Kai Sotto.
"Tumakbo rin sa isip ko 'yun," the 6-foot-8 banger told The Prospects Pod before joking, "Hindi ko nahabol eh."
Tamayo has long been considered as a formidable rival for Sotto when they were still battling it out in the UAAP juniors division.
The two met twice in the UAAP high school championship, with Sotto's Ateneo capturing the UAAP Season 80 crown in a near-perfect season and Tamayo's National University-Nazareth School getting its revenge a year after.
The young bigs also had a chance to join forces as both were called up to the Gilas Pilipinas Youth team which competed in the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece.
A year later, and their paths couldn't be any more farther from each other.
Tamayo just committed to University of the Philippines after wrapping up his juniors career for the Bullpups, where he won the Finals MVP in the school's perfect 16-0 run in UAAP Season 82.
Sotto, meanwhile, is heading to the NBA G League select team where he will team up with top US high school prospect Jalen Green, who is of Filipino descent.
Miles away as Tamayo is, he still holds bragging rights over both Sotto and Green.
Not only did the Bullpups get the better of Sotto and the Blue Eaglets in his final UAAP season, but the Jhocson-based dribblers also dispatched Green and FilAm Sports USA in the Elite Eight of the 2018 NBTC National Finals on their way to the title.
Ever the good soldier, Tamayo credited the whole NU team for those victories.
"Team effort naman yun eh. Hindi lang naman ako yun eh, team effort naman yun kaya nanalo kami," the budding Cebuano big said.
And Tamayo holds no regrets for the decisions that he made, while also voicing out of his support to Sotto on his quest to become the first homegrown Filipino player in the NBA.
"Sobrang happy naman ako kay Kai kung saan siya ngayon. Lagi ko rin siya sinasama sa prayers ko na kung ano yung gusto niya na ma-achieve, ma-achieve niya," he said.
"Support lang tayo sa kapwa Pilipino natin."