MO Tautuaa knew it was just a matter of time.
The 28-year-old Fil-Tongan was still present in TnT Katropa’s practice on Tuesday morning in what turned out to be his final session with the team that picked him No. 1 overall during the 2015 PBA draft.
A few hours later, Tautuaa officially found himself a Globalport Batang Pier after the PBA approved the trade that enabled TNT to land wantaway guard Terrence Romeo and Yousef Taha.
TnT management didn’t tell Tautuaa yet about the Globalport trade during the team practice at the Moro Lorenzo gym since the Commissioner’s Office didn’t give the deal a go until late in the afternoon.
But team manager Virgil Villavicencio said the third-year big man was the first to be informed about it even before the trade formally came out on social media.
“We called him up and made sure he was the first one to know about the trade before it came out in the media,” Villavicencio stressed.
And Tautuaa’s reaction?
“That’s part of a professional player’s life,” Villavicencio quoted Tautuaa as saying. “He took it as a pro. And he knows about the trade, dahil may mga naglalabasan na rin namang balita even before.”
In a late post on his Twitter account @tautuaa33, the athletic Fil-Tongan big man wrote: "Extremely grateful to have played for TNT. Learned a lot from the team and I just want to say thank you to everyone of my teammates and staff there! I'm excited to keep the ball rolling here at globalport! Looking forward to this chapter in my life! Always gotta give thanks to the Lord!"
Like Globalport, TnT also considers the trade a ‘win-win’ situation.
“We’re starting to rebuild and getting Terrence, and Jericho Cruz before, is a good way to start it,” said Villavicencio. “And it’s a new beginning for Terrence, nahawakan din naman siya ni Nash (Racela) before.”
“At the same time, it’s also a new beginning for Mo. He could also be the big man that the team (GlobalPort) has been looking for.”
Tautuaa, according to Villavicencio, plans to drop by the TnT practice on Wednesday to bid his former teammates goodbye.
"Since hindi siya nakapag-paalam, pupunta yata siya sa practice namin," said the TnT team manager. "Tsaka may mga gamit pa rin siya sa locker room, kukuhanin niya na rin daw."