PBA: Mac Tallo knows he’s no Kiefer or Kevin, but he vows to go all-out for NLEX
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 15, 2018 10:32 PM
Mac Tallo wasted no time in showing what he's got in his debut for NLEX
Not even a week after getting signed, Mac Tallo made an immediate impact for NLEX on Friday at the MOA Arena.
Scoring 11 points and collecting three assists and steals apiece as well as two blocks, the Cebuano helped the Road Warriors put up a fight against red-hot Alaska.
In the end, they fell, 111-120, but their newcomer’s contributions were much welcome especially as they no longer have both of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas for the foreseeable future.
Drafted in the first round by TNT in the 2017 Draft, he was left unsigned after the first conference before getting picked up by NLEX.
And so, of course, the jitters were there for Tallo in his first game since last conference. “It’s my first actual game na five-on-five after six months. Kinakapa ko pa sarili ko so nagdasal ako,” he told reporters post-game.
He then continued, “Pinakita ko lang kung anong kaya kong gawin. At the same time, follow lang (kung) ano sinasabi nila coach.”
And obviously, in head coach Yeng Guiao’s system, good looks should never be turned down. “Yung mga teammates ko, I asked them for advice and sabi nila na kay coach Yeng, pag-open ka, itira mo talaga. Pag-open ka tapos ‘di mo ititira, papagalitan ka talaga,” he said.
He then continued, “So mas better na ititira ko talaga kaya yung kumpyansa ko, tamang-tama talaga kay coach Yeng.”
Indeed, the 10th overall pick tried his best to do just that, converting five of his 11 shots.
Still, he said he can do much better – especially as he isn’t too far removed from the latent tuberculosis that kept him sidelined for the first half of the year. “Nakikita ko na kulang pa talaga ako kundisyon. Nagkasakit kasi ako kaya pina-bedrest ako for two months tapos pagbalik ko, parang ang taba ko,” he shared.
He then continued, “I was 94 kg (then). Nag-lose ako (ng weight) and I’m now 85 kg, pero gusto ko pa na 80 kg ako.”
Once Tallo gets to do just that, bigger things should be expected from him in the Road Warriors’ shorthanded backcourt.
Don’t expect him to do Kiefer Ravena or Kevin Alas things, however. “Hindi naman ako Kiefer Ravena maglaro, ‘di naman ako Kevin Alas maglaro so I’m not really pressured,” he answered when asked about the shoes he has to fill.
For now, the 25-year-old just wants to keep getting better and better. “Tuloy-tuloy lan sana yung laro ko. First game ko ngayon so yun lang muna iisipin ko, (to) be consistent every night,” he remarked.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.