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Mo Tautuaa hopes to finally learn the ropes in third year

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Mo Tautuaa hopes to finally learn the ropes in third year Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa PBA Season 43 Nash Racela Moala Tautuaa 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup

Make or break time for Mo Tautuaa

There are high expectations when it comes to being the first overall pick in a draft class. The top of the class is expected to be a franchise-defining player and is anticipated to deliver right from the get-go.

But this has not been the case for 2015 top overall pick Moala Tautuaa as he has been inconsistent during his first two years in the big league. And even the 28-year-old admitted that it frustrated him at times.

“It’s frustrating when you’re not getting results that you want,” said Tautuaa, who averaged just 9.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in his first two years with TNT.

What’s keeping him going is that the 6-foot-8 big man is seeing himself grow as the process of his development continues.

“But I mean I’m happy cause I could see work, like progression,” the native of San Mateo, California furthered.

“I don’t wanna be stuck still, I don’t wanna be stuck in a mud.”

After a dismal two-point outing during TNT’s loss against Rain or Shine last December 22, Tautuaa started aggressive in TNT’s 106-98 win over Alaska, firing 10 of his 18 points in the opening frame. He ended the game shooting 8-for-12 from the field while gobbling down eight rebounds in just 23 minutes of action.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Mo Tautuaa hopes to finally learn the ropes in third year Basketball News PBA  TNT Katropa PBA Season 43 Nash Racela Moala Tautuaa 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup

“Good choice. Very efficient,” said second-year TNT head coach Nash Racela as he watched Tautuaa being interviewed after being adjudged as the Player of the Game. “That’s what we need from our players, efficiency. We told them that they will get shorter minutes but with it, they need to perform at a high level.

“Mo is the perfect example. He played lesser minutes than Kelly [Williams] but he was very efficient.”

At this stage of his career, Tautuaa is no longer thinking about the numbers he puts up in a game. What matters to him now is becoming a consistent cog for the Katropa as the franchise tries to end its four-conference championship drought.

“I just gotta continue to look forward,” Tautuaa said. “And there’s a new year coming up so all that old stuff, I just gotta leave it back there and just continue to move forward.

“As long as we continue to move forward, I mean, it was a win today and that’s what’s most important. Being efficient and doing whatever, it’s nice, but there’s an ultimate goal and that’s the championship.”

Maybe, this leap of faith is what Tautuaa really needed to make the jump.

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