By Jerome Lagunzad
Determined to form the most competitive unit possible for this year’s FIBA Under 17 Basketball World Cup championships, Batang Gilas officials plan to reach out anew to National University officials to get the services of big man Carl Tamayo and heady guard Gerry Abadiano.
No less than Batang Gilas coach Mike Oliver confirmed that the 6-foot-7 Tamayo and the 5-foot-9 Abadiano are both included in the training pool as they try to come up with a better showing in the June 30-July 8 event in Rosario and Santa Fe, Argentina featuring the world’s top 16 junior national teams.
“We always include them in the pool. From the SEABA (Championships last year) to the FIBA Asia. We just hope na makapaglaro na sila for the World Cup,” Oliver told Tempo-Bulletin in a text message yesterday.
Batang Gilas co-team manager Wilbert Loa added that plans are already in place to sit down with their NU counterparts, led by Bullpups coach Goldwin Monteverde, in earnest for them to finally give the green light to Tamayo and Abadiano.
If things fall according to plan, Tamayo, named by Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes to his #23for23 training pool, and Abadiano could give the Nationals big boost upfront and in the backcourt as well.
Tamayo could form a solid frontcourt tandem with Ateneo center Kai Sotto, adjudged as the Best Center in the recent FIBA Asia tilt, while Abadiano could help relieve some playmaking load off the shoulders of veterans Forthsky Padrigao and Terrence Fortea.