MANILA, Philippines – UP star forward Carl Tamayo has begged off from Gilas Pilipinas duty at the FIBA World Cup fifth Asian qualifying window on Saturday, November 5, to tend to a right ankle sprain he suffered during the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.
The 21-year-old sensation recently bottomed out on Saturday with a scoreless, 12-minute outing as UP blew out UE, 83-69.
“I think I’m not 100% heading to Gilas and I can’t help if I’m not 100%. I don’t feel confident,” he said in Filipino after the UE game. Incidentally, Tamayo suffered the injury against the Red Warriors back in their first-round matchup last October 19, which the Maroons also won, 84-77.
The Season 84 Rookie of the Year and Mythical Five member is currently averaging 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in 17.7 minutes across three qualifying window appearances. In Season 85, meanwhile, he is posting norms of 14.4 points and 8.0 boards in a shade over 25 minutes per game.
“The injury is not that bad and I’m still able to play [for UP]. I just really need to rehab it,” Tamayo continued.
“I feel that I need the rest and rehab. I think Gilas will understand. One of the reasons why coach [Goldwin Monteverde] and I decided to not tag along for now is because I feel I won’t help the situation.”
Now without Tamayo, the national team will head to its two road games in Jordan on November 10, and Saudi Arabia on November 13 with an even thinner frontline, as six-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo is currently out due to throat surgery.
UAAP MVP Ange Kouame of Ateneo – one of the two remaining UAAP call-up prospects apart from La Salle’s Kevin Quiambao – is also still recovering from a partially torn ACL. – Rappler.com