Many Filipino hoop fans have Carl Tamayo on their lineup wish list whenever Gilas Pilipinas is gearing up for a major international tournament. The recently concluded FIBA World Cup was no exception. The versatile big man could’ve certainly been of service to the national team but he had to beg off due to a knee issue.
On Saturday, however, his knees looked fine and showed why he’s a Gilas lock in most people’s eyes. In a Japan B.League preseason game between the Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Gunma Crane Thunders, Tamayo busted out a couple of maneuvers that electrified the Ryukyu supporters inside the Yokohama Arena. Both moves came off the dribble, which showcased the 6-foot-8 forward’s handles, agility, speed, and ability to finish at the rim.
Check this out wherein Tamayo caught a pass near the baseline and in an instant attacked the rack but not before getting by two defenders using a quick inside dribble.
Here's another one. This time, the former UP Fighting Maroon standout got his man in an iso situation beyond the top of key. Tamayo then went with a wicked crossover to shake off the defense. Seeing the opening, Tamayo drove strong to his right and proceeded to sink in a routine layup. Just like the audience, the players on the Golden Kings bench had their minds blown.
Tamayo’s fans both in the Philippines and in the B.League were surely thrilled after coming across those gems. For them, the former UAAP champion’s continuous improvement will always be good news. Tamayo and the Golden Kings, however, dropped the exhibition match to the Thunders 72-68.
The good news for Tamayo and the Golden Kings is that they’ll get to face Gunma anew later today, Sunday, at 5 p.m. (Manila time).