Cagayan star Mo Tautuaa not losing sleep after losing out to Parks in MVP race
Cagayan big man Mo Tautuaa is keeping his focus on the bigger prize. Jerome Ascano

LOSING the MVP award in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup is not going to keep Cagayan Valley star Mo Tautuaa away from his focus on the bigger prize.

Among the top candidates for the top individual plum in the pro league’s farm tournament, the Filipino-Tongan slotman lost out to Hapee’s Ray Parks in the battle for the conference's highest individual award.

“I don’t know where I’m at in the (individual) standings, but I have bigger things to worry about,” Tautuaa said the Rising Suns lost Game One of the best-of-three finals to Hapee, 82-74, last Monday.

Anyway, he felt Parks deserved the award.

“He earned it. Congrats to him.”

Still, the setback will further motivate the 25-year-old Tautuaa.

“I’ve always known that if you work hard, it’ll pay off, so I must’ve not worked hard enough and it’s going to make me more determined next time,” said the hulking center, who went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft

A projected lottery pick in the next PBA draft, Tautuaa registered 16 points (8-of-11 shooting), 15 boards, and three assists in 30 minutes, but the Cagayan shooters were off target in the series opener.

Tautuaa and the Rising Suns try to force a deciding game when they take on the Fresh Fighters in Game Two on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos