TNT import says Tautuaa antics after dunk ‘very disrespectful’
TNT import Jeremy Tyler may have failed at staying out of foul trouble but he felt he succeeded in keeping his emotions in check during a heated game against GlobalPort Sunday night.
“There’s a lot of things that happened that’s not ideal but it’s all about how you handle it. I thought, because we have a bunch of really nice guys, I thought we handled a lot of adversities well including myself,” Tyler said after TNT won, 128-114.
The “adversities” Tyler referred to included his late-game scuffle with Batang Pier big man Mo Tautuaa.
Tyler and Tautuaa got into it with less than three minutes left after the Fil-Tongan’s feet hit the former NBA veteran’s face after a dunk.
In response, Tyler grabbed the left foot of Tautuaa, who retaliated by kicking him on the chest.
“There were times when I wanted to blow up and things didn’t come my way, but I just took a second to think about it and look at the score and think about my teammates, you know I gotta stay in the game and be smart for them,” said Tyler, who finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds in only 26 minutes due to foul woes.
Tautuaa had 10 points and seven rebounds before getting ejected following the incident.
“Guys play differently around the world. Dunking and putting your feet in my face, where I come from is very disrespectful. But you know, I kept my head [in the game] nobody got hurt, we’re up by , I have no worries.”
Tautuaa, who played his first three seasons at TNT which selected him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 PBA Draft, reportedly downplayed the incident as just part of basketball.
The meeting between the KaTropa and the Batang Pier was a keenly-awaited clash featuring two teams that figured in a blockbuster trade involving Terrence Romeo and Tautuaa three weeks ago and it didn’t disappoint.
In terms of entertainment and drama, the game lived up to its billing with the Batang Pier rallying from 21 points down before the KaTropa responded in the fourth quarter to avoid a total meltdown.
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