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    Mo Tautuaa seeks answers to NorthPort's fourth-quarter struggles

    Mar 11, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    MO Tautuaa lamented NorthPort's inability to finish games after another loss left the Batang Pier teetering on the brink of elimination.

    Tautuaa scored a PBA career-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds but his efforts went for naught as NorthPort lost another tight contest, bowing to San Miguel, 113-107, on Sunday night for its fifth straight loss.

    “We are having trouble in that fourth quarter,” Tautuaa said. “You could see in a hundred percent of our losses that we kinda lose our momentum in the fourth."

    So determined was Tautuaa to pull off an upset that he played through cramps which he suffered late in the fourth quarter against the Beermen.

    “I couldn’t even put my leg back to where it was. I cramped up pretty good but I had to push through. Brad (Guinto) was in foul trouble. I needed to be out there. My team needed me so I just tried to fight it through,” said the Fil-Tongan slotman.

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    Tautuaa, though, admitted it was tough going up against five-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, who erupted for 40 points against NorthPort’s bigs.

    “That’s the five-time defending MVP for a reason. He’s heavy. He’s big and he’s tall. He’s a big kid. You just hope he has an off-night, I guess,” said Tautuaa.

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    Despite the struggles, Tautuaa remains hopeful NorthPort will be able to turn things around on its final four games of the eliminations. The Batang Pier are currently in 10th place with a 2-5 card, but just a half-game back of eighth-placer Meralco.

    “Figuring out our rhythm and getting that extra push is all we’ll need. As far as I could tell right now, we need that last push,” said Tautuaa.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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