With National University Bullpups standout Carl Tamayo sidelined due to a foot injury, the 12-man lineup for Batang Gilas in the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship is now set.
Head coach Josh Reyes revealed this development during the team’s practice backed by Smart and PLDT at Kerry Sports in Taguig last Saturday.
Tamayo apparently sustained the injury during the Under-17 World Cup in Argentina earlier this month, where he averaged 10.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in five games for the national youth team.
“He begged off,” Reyes bared. “It’s best to ask our physical trainer about the injury, but it’s not bone spurs. Definitely too young to have bone spurs, but he’s feeling pain in his foot, lots of discomfort. After discussing with coaches and just by the information given to us, he can’t go.”
The team will leave on August 3 for Nothaburi, Thailand and will compete from August 5 to 11.
7-foot-1 Kai Sotto and 6-foot-10 AJ Edu will lead the team up in the frontcourt for what is arguably the tallest lineup bannered by the team in any international tournament.
Joining them are De La Salle Zobel’s Raven Cortez, NU Bullpups’ Gerry Abadiano, Ateneo’s Geo Chiu, UST’s Bismarck Lina, NU Bulldogs’ Dave Ildefonso and Miguel Oczon, FEU’s Xyrus Torres and San Beda’s Rhayyan Amsali.
Fil-Italian Dalph Panopio will also see action in Philippine uniform for the first time after being recruited out of Rome.
Reyes told media that Amsali still isn’t with the team to attend to a family emergency back home south.
“We’re praying for Rhayyan’s grandfather who is sick right now so he went home to Mindanao for family matters. It’s not ideal, of course, but we’re praying for his family,” he said.
The team is bracketed in Group B with China, Lebanon and United Arab Emirates.
(Photo credit: FIBA)