UP's Tamayo brushes off MVP talks: 'UAAP title is the only goal'

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
UP's Tamayo brushes off MVP talks: 'UAAP title is the only goal'
Carl Tamayo of the UP Fighting Maroons

MANILA, Philippines – With an expected leap from his national team stint, Carl Tamayo looms as the favorite to win the MVP plum when University of the Philippines shoots for a successful title defense in the UAAP Season 85 firing off Saturday.

Tamayo, fresh from consecutive international stints with Gilas Pilipinas, has been declared by coaches to be at the forefront of the UAAP MVP derby with La Salle’s Mike Phillips and reigning MVP Ange Kouame of Ateneo in the mix.

But as huge of a feat it would be for the versatile 6-foot-7 cager only in his second year, ensuring that the UAAP crown stays in Diliman remains his lone, ultimate goal over any possible individual recognition. 

“The goal is just to win the championship all the time, that’s the only goal,” vowed Tamayo after being hailed as Season 84’s Rookie of the Year.

“It’s all about the team, first. Hindi ako pumunta ng UAAP para sa individual awards so pupunta ako sa Season 85 at maglalaro para tulungan ang team,” he added.

Tamayo last season took the UAAP by storm with averages of 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals to win the ROY award and a Mythical Five citation as UP dethroned Ateneo for its first title in 36 years.

This year, those numbers are expected to only increase following a fruitful trip with Gilas in the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup and the fourth window of 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, which he’s hoping to carry over to the UAAP.

“Playing international is a very big thing at na-share ko ‘yun sa mga teammates ko. Sa training camp namin, shinare ko ‘yung mga natutunan ko sa Gilas. It’s a good example,” added Tamayo, who reiterated his Gilas commitment anytime.

Tamayo’s meteoric rise also led to some rumors that he might be the next rising star set for an overseas stint but for now, the Cebu native assured that he will play nowhere else but in Diliman.

“I’m just focusing on UP, trying to help the team to win the championship again. I'll never close my door to play abroad. But for now, I'm here in UP, to play in UP,” he vowed as UP opens its campaign against La Salle Saturday.





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