The former UP Fighting Maroon was introduced as a Golden King on Thursday.
For Carl Tamayo, jersey number 33 always brings him good luck.
That’s why he is sticking with it as he is set to play for the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the Japan B.League.
“Number 33 is so meaningful for me,” said Tamayo during his introductory press conference on Thursday. “I think I’m lucky with this number, so I’m sticking with it. I’m very happy the team gave me the number.”
Tamayo was a huge part of the UP Fighting Maroons’ rise in the collegiate ranks in recent years, leading the the team to a championship and a Finals appearance last season. But he opted to forgo his remaining years with the Diliman-based school and took his act to Japan.
The 6-foot-7 forward is joining a stacked Ryukyu squad that features former PBA import Allen Durham, Jack Cooley, and Josh Duncan. The Golden Kings sit comfortably at second spot in the West with a 29-9 record.
With the aforementioned leading the squad, Tamayo doesn’t feel the need to carry the team on his shoulders.
“Very blessed that I have this opportunity to play for a winning team, a great organization. I’m not that pressured because the team is doing well… I’m just gonna do what I can to help,” he said.
That doesn’t mean he is succumbing to complacency, though. He said he is out there to work day in and day out to improve his skills and be of help to his first professional team.
“For sure I will learn a lot, I will develop my skills because of this high-level international league. Looking forward to learn more to improve,” he said.