MO Tautuaa's first game against former team TnT Katropa didn't turn out to be pleasant experience.
The 28-year-old Fil-Tongan was assessed a flagrant foul 2 late in Globalport's 128-114 loss to the Texters Sunday night in the main game of the PBA Commissioner's Cup opener at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tautuaa was later ejected after he was caught kicking TnT import Jeremy Tyler while hanging on the rim after throwing down a two-handed slam in the final 2:41 and the Texters protecting a 118-105 lead.
He later played down the incident, saying everything was 'just basketball' despite emotions obviously running high especially during the final quarter of the highly physical game.
"I don't care. It doesn't matter to me at all. It's just another game," said the top pick in the 2015 draft, a central figure in the celebrated trade that brought Terrence Romeo to TNT.
"It's a basketball game. That's all there is," he said. "Talk N Text is just another team."
The San Francisco, California native put up decent numbers in his debut for the Batang Pier with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, seven rebounds, two assists, and one turnover in more than 20 minutes of play.
But his night ended abruptly after the incident with Tyler, which started when Tautuaa's momentum as he held on to the rim following the dunk had his feet hitting Tyler on the face.
The TnT import retaliated by holding on to Tautuaa's foot, prompting the third year big man to try and shake free, hitting Tyler anew on the face.
Tautuaa later said he was just trying to protect himself from Tyler.
"If you're gonna held on to my feet, what am I supposed to do, Just to let you hold my feet?" he said. "If I came suddenly and grab your feet, you don't want me to do that."
"But it is what it is."