Tamayo is a well-rounded big who could have been fighting for a slot in Gilas' final 12.
Versatile big man Car Tamayo was one of the 21 players originally named to the Gilas Pilipinas FIBA World Cup pool back in June. And an argument could be made that he would have made a strong case for himself as among the final 12, which will be announced soon enough.
That argument, though, is moot now after the former UP Fighting Maroon pulled out of the pool supposedly due to injury.
But, as decision time nears for coach Chot Reyes and his staff, Tamayo’s pro team, the Ryukyu Golden Knights, and the Japan B.League itself posted on Instagram a video showing the 6-foot-7 big back in training with the defending champions. And it appears Tamayo is in great condition—fit and lean, moving effortlessly, and seemingly explosive off the bounce.
Naturally, Gilas fans were left pondering on the what-if: What if Tamayo had not gotten injured and pulled out from national team duties?
The fans could only speak their mind and speculate, as shown in the comments they left on the Instagram post of the Japan B.League.
“One of the futures of the Philippine national basketball team,” Instagram user hadjesadje commented.
User b0123yz even called on the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to replace a Gilas pool member with the fit-again Tamayo.
For her part, user rose_91_anne, just wants to see Tamayo playing more, saying, “More playing minutes sana for him.”
Fans have every right to ponder on the what-could-have-been. Tamayo, who was initially included in Reyes’ 23 for 2023 list, is the kind of modern big man Gilas could sure use as it looks to shock the world and do well in the FIBA World Cup, which is set to tipoff in less than two weeks.