TOP rookie pick Mo Tautuaa finally played according to his potential on Sunday night when he came through with a career-best 27 points in Talk 'N Text’s 95-85 whipping of Rain or Shine in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
And to think the 6-foot-7 Fil-Tongan was relegated to an off-the-bench role in the powerhouse franchise.
But Tautuaa said he doesn’t mind not being part of the team’s starting unit as long as TnT keeps on winning, especially against an opponent as formidable as Rain or Shine.
“If I have to come from bench for the team, then so be it. It’s not hurting me,” said the season’s top rookie pick, who was 8-of-14 from the field, and had 12 rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes of play.
Tautuaa said the huge numbers will definitely help boost his confidence especially after admitting starting the season ‘really slow.’
“This is just another step. I want to continue to grow and get better from this one,” he said.
His career-game came against Rain or Shine’s physical plays, specifically the Extra Rice Inc. duo of JR Quinahan and Beau Belga.
So how was it?
“It was fun. They told me that they’re going to play physical (against me), but the refs just let us played,” said Tautuaa.
He did complain about one thing, though.
“How come they’ve (Extra Rice) got a cool name, and I only got ‘Pebble?'” said Tautuaa about his nickname given to him by fellow Fil-Tongan Asi 'The Rock' Taulava.
“I want something cool (for a name),” he said with a smile.