(UPDATED) After leaving the University of the Philippines (UP), Carl Tamayo will be joining a powerhouse squad in Japan's B.League.
The Gilas Pilipinas forward has signed a contract to be the Asian quota player for the Ryukyu Golden Kings.
The club confirmed Tamayo's signing on Wednesday, a day after the 21-year-old big man bid goodbye to the Fighting Maroons.
"Tamayo is a promising 21-year-old forward who will lead the next generation of the Philippine national team. He will start his professional career with the Kings before graduating from college," Ryukyu said in a statement.
"He can be expected to play an active role immediately, and his youthful and energetic play has attracted a lot of attention not only from Japan, but also for the Filipino people," they added.
"I am honored and very excited to be part of this great organization, Ryukyu Golden Kings. I can't wait to play with you guys, see you soon," Tamayo said.
Tamayo was the UAAP Rookie of the Year in Season 84, and a part of the Mythical Team in Season 85. He helped the Fighting Maroons win the championship as a freshman, where they ended a 36-year title drought.
In what turned out to be his final season with UP, the Fighting Maroons made it back to the finals but lost in three games to Ateneo de Manila University.
In Ryukyu, Tamayo joins a club that has a 21-7 win-loss record in the 2022-23 season. The Golden Kings previously hired veteran Jay Washington as an import before parting ways with him in early December.
Ryukyu features former Meralco import Allen Durham, who is averaging 15.9 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Golden Kings.
Watch B League Rising Stars Game live on Sky Cable Channel 260, ABS-CBN Sports YouTube channel, and IwantTFC on January 13, Friday, 6PM.