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    Mo Tautuaa block on Fajardo exactly the type of competition Gilas needs from All-Stars

    Apr 28, 2017
    Mo Tautuaa stands his ground against June Mar Fajardo. Jerome Ascano

    AS he grabbed an offensive rebound after a missed triple by Terrence Romeo, June Mar Fajardo tried to go for a putback to add to Gilas’ two-point lead – when he saw Mo Tautuaa gather himself to emphatically send the ball back with a little less than two minutes left.

    That typified the competition the Mindanao selection gave Gilas Pilipinas last Wednesday – and the other two All-Star teams are expected to give and the national team needs the rest of this PBA All-Star week.

    The 6-foot-7 Tautuaa pumped his chest and let out a howl as he denied the reigning MVP, who stands three inches taller than him, on the way to Mindanao forcing a 114-114 draw.

    “It was crunch time and we were trying to sneak a win, so we had to give a little more effort and go from play mode to serious mode for a little bit,” Tautuaa said in a quick chat with SPIN.ph a day after the game.


    “And here was a little bit of tsamba in there,” the TNT KaTropa sophomore slotman added with a smile.

    It’s the Luzon selection’s turn to give Gilas a spirited tune-up on Friday night at the Quezon Convention Center, two days before the Visayas takes a crack at possibly the Final 12 of the national team preparing for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship next month.

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    But last Wednesday already saw plenty of competition, including one where Tautuaa was also involved and the recipient of a denial from Gilas pool member Roger Pogoy.

    As he grabbed a rebound, Tautuaa showed his point guard skills as he went coast to coast in a play highlighted by a behind-the-back dribble. He tried to finish the one-man fastbreak with a one-handed slam, but saw Pogoy come out of nowhere to get a hand on the attempt.

    Pogoy smiled as he shook his head after denying his TNT teammate, although he got some skin to commit a foul.


    “Tell him get out of the way next time,” Tautuaa said with a smile. “We’re trying to give a show for the people and I just did a cool trick and it’s rare for me to get a fastbreak, and Roger was there in the way.”

    “I thought we were kapatid, but instead, he was just a kalaban only,” he added. “All in all, it was fun. But next time, tell Roger just get out the way.”

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    Mo Tautuaa stands his ground against June Mar Fajardo. Jerome Ascano
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