Carl Tamayo is opening a new chapter to his budding basketball career.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, Jan. 10, the UP star bared his decision to forgo his three remaining years with the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP after accepting an offer to play in Japan B. League.
Tamayo expressed his gratitude to UP, especially those who have contributed to his meteoric rise in the collegiate ranks that saw him become a two-time UAAP Mythical Team member and an integral part of a historic UAAP championship for UP that ended the school’s 36-year title drought.
“I am especially grateful because my playing for UP has opened the doors to even more blessings and opportunities. I would like to share with everyone that I have been invited to play in the Japanese B-League, and after consulting my family, Coach Gold, my teammates, and the UPMBT management, I have decided to accept the offer to play professionally in Japan,” announced Tamayo.
“Becoming a professional basketball player is a dream I have had ever since I started playing organized basketball. It will allow me to care for my family while playing the game that I love,” he added.
Tamayo averaged 13.79 points and 7.71 rebounds per game in his sophomore year although the Maroons fell short of retaining the title after losing to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Finals.
The former UAAP Rookie of the Year awardee also thanked the entire UP Community for supporting him through his two seasons with the team.
“If there is one thing I learned as a member of the UP Maroons, it is that we can count on the UP community to support us through thick or thin,” said Tamayo.
“Nakita namin yan nung nag finals tayo nung Season 84 at Season 85. We heard and felt your joy when we made history and won the championship last May; and we shared your pain when we finished first runner up last December.”
“This is why playing for UP has been one of the greatest blessings in my life, and I am grateful to Coach Gold, Coach Bo, our Sponsors, the whole team, the people behind Nowhere to go but UP, and the UP community for welcoming me into the UP family and for contributing to my growth as a basketball player. Thank you po sa inyong lahat,” he added.
Tamayo did not disclose which team he will be playing for in the B.League but the Gilas Pilipinas forward has been courted by some of the league’s Division I teams where, according to multiple sources, he is set to be paid approximately P1.5 million to P2 million a month.
He is the latest Filipino talent to strut his wares in Japan, a route first taken by the likes of Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Ray Parks Jr., Dwight Ramos and Kobe Paras.
Without Tamayo, much of the load will now be on the shoulders of reigning UAAP MVP Malik Diouf along with other holdovers in Terrence Fortea, CJ Cansino, Gerry Abadiano and James Spencer.