FIBA: Gilas' Carl Tamayo suffers ankle sprain against New Zealand

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2022 07:07 PM | Updated as of Jun 30 2022 07:38 PM
Carl Tamayo of Gilas Pilipinas in action against New Zealand in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Gilas Pilipinas' defeat to New Zealand in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers may prove to be a costly one.

Not only did they absorb a disappointing 106-60 defeat, but they also lost young forward Carl Tamayo to an ankle sprain in the fourth quarter.

Tamayo was one of the few bright spots for the Philippines in the game, as the University of the Philippines (UP) star put up 16 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes while shooting 6-of-10 from the field.

But he collided with New Zealand's Tom Vodanovich early in the fourth quarter, and the UP forward fell to the floor while clutching his right ankle. He eventually had to be helped back to the bench with still 7:50 to play, and did not return to the game.

"It's very early to assess the injury. It is a sprained ankle, so it's very hard to see that in three days, he will be able to recover," said Gilas coach Nenad Vučinić, who concedes that Tamayo will likely not see action in their next game on Sunday against India. 

"If he does recover and put a jersey on, it's probably not gonna be effective as he would be without an injury," the coach added.

Tamayo's status compounds the team's injury issues. Gilas is playing with just an 11-man roster in this window, after naturalized center Ange Kouame sustained a knee injury that kept him from suiting up for the Philippines.

"Other players need to be stepping up," said Vučinić. "We know that we came with three guys that can play on the forward positions, and now we're down to two."

"So it's difficult. But again, we don't want the excuses, we wanna try to have a good game and have a chance to win on Sunday," he added.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas called up a slew of amateur standouts in the FIBA window, as PBA players are unavailable due to the ongoing All-Filipino Conference. Leading the team were veterans Kiefer Ravena and Dwight Ramos, but they too struggled against the bigger, more experienced Tall Blacks on Thursday. 

The team will travel back to Manila early Friday before playing India on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.