UAAP: Carl Tamayo sets pre-season talk aside in UP win

Carl Tamayo UP Fighting Maroons UAAP

UP big man Carl Tamayo against La Salle during the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament. Photo by Tristan Tamayo /

MANILA, Philippines — Carl Tamayo and the University of the Philippines clinched their titles on the right foot with a tight win over La Salle on Saturday reminiscent of the Fighting Maroons’ highwire escape in last summer’s Four Finals .

Before doing all know about Evan Nelle’s pre-season statements, which later anointed the Blue Archers as the tournament’s favorite team.

But that’s hardly a good enough reason to gloat, according to the head of the national team.

“That’s their belief, and we respect that,” Tamayo said on Fillipino referring to Nelle’s comments made during the pre-season warm-up earlier this week.

“But we know where we are,” he continued. “And we know what this team is capable of.”

UP reminded everyone at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City why they were the defending champions of the men’s basketball tournament, returning with a powerful performance to beat La Salle, a show that consistently picks up long-term candidates.

Tamayo has 18 points, 19 rebounds spike with two assists and a pair of steals to take the lead 72-69 victory over La Salle.

His high school teammate Terrence Fortea brought in 15 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists in a much-needed performance for a Fighting Maroons team that lacked heroic service in the Season Finals. before J.D. Cagulangan, who went on to suffer an unspecified muscle tear.

“Whatever they (Arrowers) think of their team, we respect that. But we also have our own beliefs. We played, and we did all we could, and thank God we won,” said Tamayo, who also dismissed the thought that he continued to be a source of suffering. La Salle and Nelle.

Nelle, like in La Salle and UP’s life-and-death clash for a place in the Finals in Season 84, squandered a golden opportunity to win the game.

“This is not about (beating) La Salle,” Tamayo said. “I just felt that the team needed someone to push. And this is part of the culture we’re trying to build — that no one is going to give up. “

“We are just right with (the mantra). We are trying to apply that not only in the basket but also in our lives. And for me, that’s what I thought when (La Salle) took the lead. As long as there is time, we have a chance to win the game.”

UP really lived up to its lofty bill that night. But little did Tamayo realize that he and his teammates were living up to something else.

“Just proud of my teammates, because no one gives. They fought to the end,” he said.

Really “Fighting” Maroons.

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