MANILA, Philippines – Kai Sotto’s former rival, Carl Tamayo, was incredibly proud of the 7-foot-3 centerback’s statement decision in the NBA 2022 Rookie draft 2022.
“Siyempre glad ako kay Kai. Masaya ako sa kanya na yung pambato natin na homegrown Philippines tinatayo niya talaga yung bandera ng Pilipinas,” Tamayo said after the University of the Philippines’ 96-67 win over the University of Santo Tomas on Thursday in the UAAP men’s basketball game. Season 84.
(I’m so happy for Kai. I’m happy for him as a homegrown Filipino who holds the country’s flag high.) [in the NBA Rookie Draft].)
Sotto and Tamayo showed each other the best of each other in the UAAP Junior Finals head-to-head clash in 2017 and 2018.
Sotto and Ateneo Blue Eaglets defeated Tamayo and Nazareth School Bullpups in Finals 3 to win Season 80 with the focus on the Finals MVP.
In the following season, Tamayo took a sweet revenge, winning the Finals MVP as School of Nazareth sweeps Ateneo and Sottowho was named the season’s MVP that year.
The two collaborated on the Philippine youth and senior basketball team.
Four years after their high school confrontation, the 6-foot-7 Fighting Maroon said his teammate Gilas Pilipinas was part of his prayers.
“Kasali naman siya lagi sa pray ko na sana yung dream niya makamit niya and sana suportahan natin siya lagi sa bawat laro niya kapag nadraft na siya,” Tamayo said.
(I always pray for him that he will achieve his dream. Please support him if he gets enlisted.)
Both young big boys have come a long way since Sotto showed his potential with the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian National Basketball League, while Tamayo emerged as one of the The male lead of UP in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament, where the Maroons blocked the 2nd seed with an 11-2 record.
Tamayo encourages basketball fans to have fun and continue to support Sotto in his bid to become the first Filipino homegrown talent to compete in the NBA.
“Be happy with Kai and continue to support him,” he said.
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