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Tamayo leaves UP, joins Japan exodus

I am especially grateful because my playing for UP has opened the doors to even more blessings and opportunities

After playing two years for University of the Philippines, Carl Tamayo decided to pack his bags and join the exodus to Japan.

In a lengthy social media post, the 21-year-old Tamayo announced that he will be taking his talent overseas after leading the Fighting Maroons to a pair of finals appearances in the University Athletic Association in Season 84 and 85.

He said his decision was in consultation with UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde and UP men’s basketball team management as well as his family and teammates.

He, however, didn’t reveal his new club but Daily Tribune sources revealed that he will be joining the Ryuku Golden Kings, who released its Asian import in Jay Washington last month.

“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,” Tamayo, who was hailed as Season 84 Rookie of the Year, said.

“I am especially grateful because my playing for UP has opened the doors to even more blessings and opportunities.”

In Season 85, Tamayo averaged 13.79 points and 7.71 rebounds. They, however, failed to defend their title against Ateneo de Manila University last December.

Still, Tamayo will walk away from UP overflowing with gratitude after securing the blessings of Monteverde, UP program director Bo Perasol and the entire community.

“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,” Tamayo said.

“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.”

“To the UP community and to the team’s fans, salamat kayo. I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and for your support. Whatever colors I wear in the years to come, my heart will always bleed maroon.”

In a statement, the Nowhere to go but UP – the team’s biggest booster — wished Tamayo the best in the next step of his career.

“As much as the UP community would love him play even for one more season, we truly understand and we fully support his decision,” the group said

“Playing basketball is not a lifetime career, we wish him the best of luck and we will pray for greater success. The UP community will always cherish the memories of UAAP Seasons 84 and 85.”

Despite Tamayo’s departure, the Maroons still have a rock-solid roster featuring JD Cagulangan, Gerry Abadiano, James Spencer and Season 85 Most Valuable Player Malick Diouf.

Former Rookie of the Year CJ Cansino will also be returning for Season 86 after recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

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