SWU star Mark Tallo raises the bar, sets sights on Cesafi three-peat, four MVP trophies
Mark Tallo has won back-to-back MVP titles but says he's not stopping there. Photo courtesy of Ron Tolin

AFTER a nightmarish end to last season, Southwestern University guard Mark Jayven Tallo found his “smile” again as the Cobras wound up on top this time.

Now he boldly reveals a bid for a hat-trick of titles and a four-MVP tally.

“This is a dream come true for me. But actually, this is just the beginning. My goal sa Cesafi is to be part of a ‘three-peat’ and a four-time MVP. I’m going to work on it,” Tallo said.

[See SWU Cobras win Cesafi title series over USC Warriors, 3-2]

The six-foot guard was adjudged as the league’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight year.

And unlike last year when he faltered and failed to bring home the ultimate prize, Tallo made sure to bag the crown this season, posting a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds along with three steals in the series decider.

Tallo, whose father Mark played briefly in the PBA, admitted feeling the pressure in the first four games of the series.

“The first four games, I was really eager to play. Di ako naka-relax. Masyadong focused talaga. Halos di na ako nag-smile. Pero sabi ko sa sarili ko na sa Game Five, I need to relax and smile and enjoy the game,” said Tallo.

The memory of last year’s disastrous Game Five, where he struggled to find his mark and the Cobras bowed to the University of the Visayas, is still fresh in his mind. And he vowed that his squad would never go through that again.

[See Escosio the unlikely hero as UV Lancers complete historic finals comeback]

“Of course, nasa utak ko rin yun pero di ko na lang inisip ng masyado. Past is past. And when I thought about it, parang alam ko na ano ang dapat ko gawin,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @ForgetAboutJay