Tamayo, Quiambao upbeat on Gilas

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

It’s not sure who’ll make the final 12-man lineup for Gilas in the coming fourth FIBA World Cup Asia qualifying window but if called up, 6-8 Carl Tamayo and 6-5 Kevin Quiambao said they’re ready to battle for the country.

Tamayo, 21 and Quiambao, 21 were on the Gilas team that played at the recent FIBA Asia Cup in Jakarta. “Kapos sa preparasyon,” said Tamayo on PlayItRightTV. “Actually, sarap labanan ang Lebanon, kaya natin.” Quiambao said Gilas was competitive in the first half against the eventual runner-up but suffered lapses in the second. “Bawi tayo next game sa Aug. 25,” he said. “Malaking boost sa World Cup makasama sina (Jordan) Clarkson at Kai (Sotto).”

Both players are undergoing deep training with their UAAP teams at the moment. Tamayo said the Fighting Maroons are doing twice a day practices and adding weight training, too. UP will leave Aug. 28 to play seven tune-up games over two weeks in Korea. UP and La Salle are playing in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup. The Archers are also competing in the PBA D-League and plan to train in Japan.

Tamayo said last season’s UAAP title run was unreal. “Hanggang ngayon pag pinanonood ko ang replay, tumataas pa rin ang aking balahibo,” he said. “Sa final buzzer, doon lang nag sink in lahat ng hard work at ang build-up na ginawa ni coach Gold (Monteverde). Sa darating na season, lahat pwede mag-champion.” As a rookie, Quiambao said he’s motivated to give back to his family and the Lasallian community for their support. He said the goal is to win the championship but it won’t be easy.

“Nawala sina kuya Noah (Webb) at Ricci (Rivero) at injured si CJ (Cansino) kaya challenge is to step up lahat kami,” said Tamayo whose favorite PBA player is June Mar Fajardo. He said the exposure to international play is a blessing. “Definitely, makakatulong yung Gilas experience at grateful ako,” said Tamayo. “Daming learnings playing with pros at sa advice ng mga vets Kiefer (Ravena), Thirdy (Ravena) at Poy (Erram). Sana maintindihan ng fans ang hirap na dinanas namin, sana support at love, iwas hate. Play our best kami to win every game.”

Quiambao said he’ll always cherish the memories of playing three UAAP junior seasons and winning two titles with Tamayo at NU. “All-around player si Carl at lahat ng pasa, convert niya,” he said. Tamayo said Quiambao’s passing ability is rare for a big man setting up teammates and he’s become deadlier with a stronger offense. They’re looking forward to matching up in the UAAP but off the court, they’ll remain friends.

“Sa Gilas, ang motivation ko is to learn mga training habits ng better players who work harder than me,” said Tamayo who inherited his height from 6-6 father Sinforoso, a former Mama’s Love player from Cebu. Quiambao said defending against bigger and taller opponents in the FIBA Asia Cup was tough. “Undersized ako at ng pinagsabay kami ni Carl, ako ang singko,” he said. “Puso ang panlaban. Kulang tayo sa height pero laban lang para sa bayan.”



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