MANDAUE – Mac Tallo hopes to taste success this time as he leads Manila Chooks! in the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters this weekend.
The Philippines’ top-ranked 3×3 player is raring to get out of a “slump” as the Chooks! teams have not been performing well in its previous campaigns, including FIBA 3×3 Pro Circuit tournaments, since late last year.
“We just want to get out of this slump,” he said during the pre-event presser at the SM Seaside City in Cebu City, Thursday. “Gusto kong tanggalin ‘yun.”
Since Cebu Chooks! ruled the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Quest 2.0 back in November 2022 under then-head trainer Aldin Ayo, Tallo and Co. have not finished higher than seventh in the six competitions that followed.
That included a pair of 12th-place finishes. First was in the final leg of the 3×3 PRO League Netherlands 2023 Winter Edition in Amsterdam last March, and then in the Huishan Wuxi Challenger in China last July.
Tallo and Manila Chooks! did accomplish a podium finish by placing third in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 2023 Quest 3.0 last August, but the 29-year-old is far from satisfied as he wants to win in the FIBA 3×3 stage.
He’s upbeat with their chances of turning things around, liking in particular how big they have become as the Cebuano star is surrounded by Marcus Hammonds, the 6-foot-9 Tosh Sesay. and Marquez Letcher-Ellis.
“Medyo malaki ‘yung chance kasi malalaki ‘yung kasama ko. The three of them are [6’5″] pataas,” said the 6-foot combo guard.
The fact that his Cebu Chooks! went winless in the last Cebu Masters adds more fuel to Tallo’s optimism of making their upcoming campaign fruitful.
“Last year kasi, we didn’t even win kahit isa,” he recalled as the squad bowed out of the pool stage after losing to Antwerp and Omaha 3Ball.
“Ngayon sana, sana talaga, in God’s will, mabigyan kami ng panalo,” he continued, “para at least after Cebu Masters, mawala yung slump.”