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Disappointing debuts: Tautuaa, Rosario no exemption from rude PBA welcome

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With overwhelming experiences in their respective bags even before their first ever PBA game, Troy Rosario and Moala Tautuaa were both expected to take the league by storm for Talk ‘N Text.

Rosario was a fine stretch four in the amateur ranks. He made the Gilas pool, was a champion in college, and once played in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour where he showed tremendous athleticism, hops, and an ability to space the floor.

Tautuaa was a double-double machine in the D-League, an interior presence for any team he’s with, and a Gilas stint prior to his professional debut gave him even more experience.

But people have to understand all those are a thing of the past when you get to the pro ranks. It’s an even battlefield when you get to the PBA, and the two were both welcomed in a rude way.

The PBA was simply a different animal, and both were stunned in their first game for the TNT Tropang Texters as they fell to the Alaska Aces, 98-114.

“I had a hard time adjusting. It was different. I couldn’t find my groove and it showed. I struggled everywhere on the floor. I didn’t play like myself today,” Tautuaa said.

The Fil-Tongan center started in the game, played 20 minutes but only had 2 points on 1-for-5 shooting.

“This does not feel like a rookie year for me. I can blame it on that but I just wasn’t myself today. I was unfocused. That’s how I felt today. It’s a different atmosphere to play in and adjust to the plays here,” he added.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Disappointing debuts: Tautuaa, Rosario no exemption from rude PBA welcome    Rosario finished with only four points on 2-for-7 shooting and was a minus-14. He appeared to be struggling to keep up with the game’s speed, and was abused by bigger guys in the low post.

“Time to learn. Mahaba pa naman ang season. Wala namang (nerves) na maramdaman. Hindi lang siguro pumapasok mga tira ko,” Rosario said.

“Nagpractice naman ako with the team so may gelling na. Yung plays na kang siguro. Yung depensa naman mai-improve pa naman. Sa tingin ko yun ang kailangan namin i-improve,” he added.

Both struggled in their PBA debuts, and it only showed no one, not even the best draft picks and highly-touted individuals, are exemptions from adjusting.

People know what Rosario and Tautuaa are capable of, but it will not be easy. The two rookies know it, and they are bent on improving.

“Challenge sa akin to para mag-improve. Iniisip ko na lang paano makakatulong sa team,” Rosario said.

“For myself, I did feel a little pressure but the older guys told me to play my game. Today it didn’t come,” Tautuaa added.

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