UAAP: Now NU's pillar, Carl Tamayo just wanted to watch June Mar Fajardo before

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 21, 2018 05:47 PM
Now NU's pillar, Tamayo just wanted to watch June Mar before
Apparently, it only took tickets to a San Miguel game for coach Gold and NU to have their own talented tower

Last season, Nazareth School of National University just had no answer for Kai Sotto.

Ateneo de Manila High School’s towering teen, well, towered above all in the three-game Finals series to lift the Blue Eaglets over the Bullpups and onto the mountaintop of the UAAP Juniors.

A year later, it looks like Sotto finally has an equal from the blue and gold.

In the rematch between NU and Ateneo last Saturday, the 16-year-old, 7-foot-1 generational talent had 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the Blue Eaglets.

Only, the Bullpups also had a 17-year-old, 6-foot-8 promising prospect who posted a 13-point, 10-rebound to help lead his side to victory.

That 17-year-old, 6-foot-8 promising prospect? Carl Tamayo.

While the fact that they finally have an equal for Sotto is a welcome development, NU still had to go through a lot for this to happen.

Of course, head coach Goldwin Monteverde first had to transfer from Adamson High School – and bring along many of the tantalizing talents he had already recruited.

Tamayo, one of those tantalizing talents, wouldn’t have been found, however, if only the Passerelle wasn’t being held in Cebu a few years back. “Galing po ako sa Cebu tapos nung time na yun, Passerrelle Finals sa Cebu. Dun po ako nahanap at nakausap nina coach Gold,” he shared.

As it turns out, however, the Cebuano big man wouldn’t have gone with coach Gold to Manila if not for a definite desire to watch his kababayan. Asked how he was convinced to come, he answered through chuckles, “May kwento yan. ‘Di talaga ako dapat sasama nun, pero sabi kasi nila, papanoorin daw nila ako ng PBA.”

He then continued, “E sobrang gusto kong manood ng PBA, gusto kong mapanood si June Mar Fajardo, sumama na ako.”

Yes, a ticket to a San Miguel game featuring, of course, man in the middle Fajardo, got Tamayo to say yes to coach Gold.

The rest, as they say, is history. “Blessed naman na nakarating din ako kina coach Gold kasi sobrang ganda ng program nila,” he said, looking back at his origin story.

Until now, Fajardo is apparently playing a big role in Tamayo’s development.

In particular, the NU big man is inspired by how, slowly but surely, the Beermen’s franchise player turned himself from a raw talent into a six-time champion and four-time MVP in the PBA. “Nagsimula rin siya sa hindi pa siya ganun marunong maglaro so iniidolo ko talaga siya. Sa kanya ko talaga ginagaya mga galaw ko,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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