Extra training benefits ‘little’ striker Carl Tamayo in the Gilas bubble
CALAMBA – In 2018, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas named their 23 for 2023, a list of young players who could potentially be part of Gilas Pilipinas’ squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. The youngest of the group, Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo, were both only 16 at the time.
Three years later, Tamayo told him he had to prepare physically as he might soon get the call to join the Gilas Pilipinas Men training group. He prepared as best he could even with the limitations of the present day and it paid off.
Being on the 23 roster for 2023, he knew he would have the opportunity to compete for a spot on the national team at some point in the future. This chance, however, came sooner than he had expected.
“When I found out the hen didn’t have PBA players, I started to prepare myself in case I got called up but I wasn’t expecting anything,” Tamayo said in Filipino. “When I didn’t get the call, I returned home to the province because I hadn’t seen my family for a long time.
Unfortunately, the training pool could not see the action as the competitions were postponed.
“Then for the next bubble, coach Sandy (Arespacochaga) called to invite me,” said the young forward.
After some initial hesitation, it was a former mentor who acted as the voice of reason to make Tamayo understand that this was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“At first I was hesitant because I didn’t see my family for a year and I was only home for a month. I wanted to spend more time with them but coach Goldwin (Monteverde) told me. spoke and told me it was a big opportunity for me, “Tamayo said.” My family will always be there. I can just go home after the bubble and my family was pushing me too because that was what was best for my career. “
Upon joining the camp, Tamayo quickly realized how lucky he was to be a part of it. Basketball players outside the bubble had to settle for individual or small group training while Gilas Pilipinas Men was able to train and compete as a full team. The biggest advantage of joining this training camp is that Tamayo feels like a little striker. Although he must have been a center or a forward all his life due to his size, he knows that learning to play from three places could really set him apart.
“Here I play three and sometimes four. I’m learning to execute like a little striker, to read the pitch, I can also practice my decision making. I realized it was a very good decision because I’m learning to play international basketball with Coach Tab (Baldwin), “he explained.
At 6-foot-7, Tamayo is tall enough to play as a powerful forward or even a cross for a small team in the pros, but he has the tools to play as a small forward, which makes him a rarity on the local scene.
“Even though my size is for a tall man, I’ve always trained to be a three with my ball handling and shooting. It’s great for me because I can take on bigger players. was taller than everyone else so I had to play center, ”Tamayo said.
“Coach Goldwin really pushed me to do extra work when I was in high school. Before going to class I trained with him for my shooting and dribbling. After three years I started. developing my outdoor game with my dribbling and jumping now I focus on playing three-way games.
Tamayo admitted he had no idea what all the extra training was for at the time, but his trainer asked him to do it, so he followed. Now, he’s even more grateful to his high school mentor for investing the time and energy that allowed him to become one of the youngest members of the national team.
“Actually when we were doing it, I had no idea what it was because I was still young. Now I’m starting to realize that it was an investment in my future. I don’t think it was. I would have been invited here even with my height if I didn’t know how to shoot or dribble. “
Another big plus of his presence in the Gilas training bubble is to be surrounded by teachers and leaders who want nothing but to help Tamayo develop as much as he could in a short period of time. . As they prepare for the upcoming games, the pool also knows that the work they are doing is an early investment for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup that the Philippines is co-hosting with Japan and indonesia.
All the coaches and veterans of the system are doing their best to make sure everyone is on the same page.
“Every day we watch to focus on the details. Sometimes the coaches go one-on-one with us to really show us where we are making our mistakes. They are so patient with us not only on the pitch, but they even show us on video so we can really correct our mistakes, ”Tamayo said.
“The veterans have been very helpful especially Mike (Nieto) who is really a leader. I appreciate them because they do their best to help us improve as a person and as a player so that I can help the team. “
Just two weeks away from the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, Tamayo is thrilled to fulfill a goal he set for himself as a youngster.
“I’m excited because that has always been my main goal: to play for the Philippine national team,” he concluded. “I’ve been preparing for this opportunity for a long time, so I hope I can contribute on the pitch if Coach Tab gives me a chance.”