Despite herculean effort, Moala Tautuaa knows he needs to work harder to stay course
MANILA, Philippines—Moala Tautuaa showed his mettle when he came up big for NorthPort’s 95-90 win against Poy Erram and NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The victory pushed the Batang Pier to a 2-0 record thanks in no small part to Taututaa’s efforts that resulted in 18 points and 11 rebounds against Erram who is set to receive the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award for the 2017-18 season.
The double-double, however, wasn’t enough for Tautuaa’s coach Pido Jarencio who wanted to see more from his fun-loving big man.
“The bigs didn’t have that much production, actually Mo was able to deliver in the fourth quarter,” said Jarencio in Filipino. “The team plays better when there’s someone underneath the basket, and at least he was able to deliver in the final seven minutes.”
Although Tautuaa was able to score 14 points until the third quarter, he was more aggressive on the defensive end in the payoff period.
Tautuaa also didn’t mind that Jarencio wanted more from him and he took it as a challenge that his coach isn’t satisfied with his performance.
“We got to keep winning and we can’t be complacent because that’s not good for us,” said Tautuaa. “We have to keep pushing ourselves to be better. I got to keep getting better, I got to work hard and do what I can to help the team.”
Erram managed to put up 19 points and seven rebounds but Tautuaa’s defense made him cough up the ball six times.
“I feel like we have the same build and the same game, a little bit, so it was a big clash for us,” said Tautuaa who’s just an inch shorter than the 6-foot-8 Erram. “We at NorthPort, though, stayed the course to get the win.”
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