CONSIDER it a dream fulfilled for Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano after the top high school prospects moved to University of the Philippines for the next chapter of their careers.
The Gilas Pilipinas Youth standouts and leaders of National University-Nazareth School's back-to-back UAAP title reigns in the juniors division explained that the opportunity to move to Diliman for their collegiate careers was just too good to pass up.
"It’s one of my dreams na makapag-aral sa UP. Education is one of my reasons for picking the school," said the 6-foot-8 Tamayo.
The 6-foot Abadiano added: "Sobrang saya kasi siyempre tulad ng sinabi ni Carl, dream school ko rin ang UP. Hindi lang ito tungkol sa paglalaro. Yung napili ko rin dito is education. Kapag natapos na (ang basketball), di natin masabi ano mangyayari. Ang importante ay maganda ang tinapos namin."
Tamayo will be majoring sports science, while Abadiano has taken the course of tourism at State U.
But that doesn't mean that the UP basketball program, which has come alive over the past couple of years, was not part of the consideration for the two blue-clip finds.
"Syempre yung basketball program din (ng UP)," he said.
Tamayo was the Finals MVP in UAAP Season 82, holding the fort down low for the Bullpups with his 12.6 points on 45-percent shooting, on top of 10.4 rebounds.
Abadiano, on the other hand, orchestrated NU's attack with his 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals as it completed a 16-game sweep of the boys tourney.
The two are welcome arrivals for the rebuilding Fighting Maroons, who have been in the Final Four for the past two seasons but have yet to go all the way.
Kobe Paras, Bright Akhuetie, and Ricci Rivero are poised to lead the Bo Perasol-coached squad this season after finishing third in UAAP Season 82.
UP has stockpiled on its recruits this offseason, adding transferees namely La Salle's Joel Cagulangan, Centro Escolar University's Maodo Malick Diouf, and UV's Jancork Cabahug, as well as incoming rookies RC Calimag from La Salle Greenhills and Miguel Tan from Xavier.