MAC Tallo was as surprised as everyone when Commissioner Chito Narvasa called his name in the first round of the PBA Rookie Draft on Sunday at the Robinsons Place Manila.
A projected second rounder, Tallo was chosen as the No. 10 pick by TNT Katropa ahead of more celebrated cagers like Jett Manuel and Davon Potts. The Cebuano guard was reluctant to go up on stage, fearing it wasn’t his name he heard, before his seatmate convinced him to join his new team.
"Hindi ko talaga ine-expect na ma-dradraft ako sa first round, expected ko second lang ako. Sobrang tuwang-tuwa ako na nakakaiyak dahil natupad na yung dream ko," said the son of former PBA player Mark Tallo.
"Sa totoo lang ang nasa isip ko nun, 'Ako ba talaga yung tinawag?' Nagpra-pray lang ako nung time na 'yun na sana ma-draft ako. Biglang kinalabit ako ng kaibigan ko na nakuha na ako," he recalled.
"Naalala ko pa sinabi ko sa kanya na, 'Sure ka ba?' So pagtayo ko, dahan-dahan lang ako naglalakad kasi baka hindi nga ako. Sobrang unexpected talaga."
Now the Cesafi MVP is just thrilled to prove his worth and team up with fellow "bisayas" Alfrancis Tamsi and Rookie of the Year Roger Pogoy.
"Sobrang excited ako kasi lahat kami bisaya dun, sila Pogoy at Tamsi. Lahat sila mga bisaya," he said.
TNT Katropa opens its training camp on November 13, a little over a month before the new PBA season unfolds.