Mo Tautuaa knows that he and CJ Perez are first-timers coming into the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in terms of facing the world’s best in the halfcourt game, as compared to their more seasoned teammates.
The two PBA stars do have a SEA Games 3×3 gold medal to boast of. Still, 32-year-old said that their experience is nowhere near to the likes of top-ranked 3×3 players Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Karl Dehesa, and Leonard Santillan.
Aside from the many wars in Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, the quartet has also faced some of the finest talents in the FIBA 3×3 pro circuit. And most of those players also represent their motherland in national team events.
“This is going to be the first time we played against this caliber, this level, me and CJ,” Tautuaa told Radyo5’s Power and Play with Kom Noli Eala, Saturday.
“I’m sure Josh, Alvin, Santi, and Karl have all experienced it.”
Even with that disparity in experience, however, Dehesa still believes that Tautuaa and Perez are huge additions to the Philippine contingent.
The 33-year-old guard opined that Tautuaa’s bulky 6-foot-8 frame will make the game much easier for his teammates.
“Mo is gonna make all our jobs a lot easier. Just having him on the court is going to open up the game for Josh, Alvin, and CJ,” said the former PBA cager, who’s the sixth-ranked player in the country.
“We’re not a small team. We have length, we have guys [who by] just adding to the mix is going to make it more deadly.”
Tautuaa, though, downplayed the claim. Instead, he pointed out that it comes down to who wants it more in the tilt, where three slots to the Tokyo Olympics are at stake.
“One thing that I learned playing is there wasn’t really much about size. It’s come down to heart, on who really wants it more,” he said.
“Size helps, but in this game, you can win it with small guys. And I really believe in my team and really feel like we have a strong team. I’m really not worried about size or anything like that,” Tautuaa furthered.
“We want to win and we got that Filipinos brand. We’re not going to back down to anybody. We’re going to go there and see what we go.”