MO Tautuaa shrugged off the hype ahead of Gilas Pilipinas bubble training, saying experience has taught him that bigger isn’t always better in 3x3.
“One thing that I learned playing 3x3 is there wasn't really much about size,” said the 31-year-old San Miguel banger on Radyo5's Power and Play with Noli Eala on Saturday.
“It comes down to kind to heart, on who really wants it more. Size helps, but in this game, you can win it with small guys and I really believe in my team and really feel like we have a strong team.”
At 6 feet 8 the tallest in the Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 squad and part of the gold medal winning Philippine team in the Southeast Asian Games in 2019, Tautaa has been dubbed as a game-changer as the country seeks a spot in the quadrennial games.
"I'm really not worried about size or anything like that," he said. "We want to win and we got that Filipinos brand of basketball that we're not going to back down to anybody. We're going to go there and see what we got."
Joshua Munzon is 6 feet 4, Alvin Pasaol is 6’3 and CJ Perez 6’2.
"Mo is gonna make all our jobs a lot easier," said Karl Dehesa, a 6-fot-2 national pool member.
"Just having him on the court is going to open up the game for Josh, Alvin, and CJ."
His presence should be a big help for Gilas 3x3 down low, especially against the taller opposition which includes Slovenia, France, Dominican Republic, and Qatar.
"We're not a small team," said Dehesa. "We have length and we have guys who were just adding to the mix and is going to make the team more deadly."
Pasaol, who has alternated being a scorer and a bruiser down low in the past international forays, agreed.
"May height advantage yung kalaban, syempre. Pero lamang naman tayo pag naglaro tayo ng buong puso eh. Yun naman lamang natin dyan, na kayang-kaya natin manalo."