MANILA, Philippines – Carl Tamayo, the only rookie in the top five of the MVP race, says anyone from the University of the Philippines can shine at any game in the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.
The 6-foot-7-year-old freshman scored his season-best 21 on 10 bounces to National Haunted College, 84-76, for their seventh straight win last Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tamayo deflected his best game in college against coach Goldwin Monteverde’s system and the depth of his team.
“It was just a good day for me. I’m just trying to be aggressive inside the court, it could be me, it could be Zav (Lucero), it could be Ricci (Rivero), it could be Noah (Webb),’ the standout at Nazareth School said after turning 8 -of-13.
“I’m just playing at my best and responding to the challenge of how can we win games and work as one, there’s a lot of talent on our team,” he added.
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After eight battles, cadet Gilas Pilipinas emerged as the only rookie in the top five MVP race ranked fourth with Far Eastern University center Emman Ojuola with 57.0 identical statistical points.
UP has three players in the top 10 including No 2 Zavier Lucero, who has 67.0 stats – not far behind Ateneo’s leader Ange Kouame (68.0), and Malick Diouf at the top. in seventh place alongside Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa and FEU’s RJ Abarrientos and L-Jay Gonzales with identical 50.0 SP. Graduate winger Ricci Rivero is currently 11th with 49.0 SP.
Tamayo averaged 13.13 points and 7.5 rebounds per game as the Fighting Maroons clinched the longest winning streak in recent memory for a solo second place, winning seven of their eight games in a row.
“I just follow our system and try my best to finish my teammates’ passes. I always try to be positive and try to help our team start strong, and then finish strong,” he said.
The 21-year-old big man thinks that they have an impressive series of matches thanks to the same winning mentality in each match.
“We approach the game the same way no matter who we are facing. Ateneo, UE or whatever team we approach the same way. We always try to be aggressive and then our goal is to win the match against whoever we go up against,” Tamayo said.
UP tries to extend its winning streak against FEU next Tuesday.
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