‘In my mind, I made it’: Tautuaa rues missed crucial 3 in NorthPort loss
MANILA, Philippines—Everything felt good about Mo Tautuaa’s final attempt to salvage NorthPort’s campaign in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Left wide at the right-wing open off a pass from Robert Bolick, Tautuaa could’ve give Northport a shot at the victory that would’ve clinched the semifinals berth with one shot with 14.6 seconds left.
Tautuaa launched a three–his mechanics were textbook and the ball had just the right reverse spin on it. But the trajectory though was a little off to the right, and the miss allowed the Beermen to hold on, 90-88, and eliminate NorthPort.
“I caught the ball, and I knew I was going to shoot, I’ve been making my shots, not tonight but recently,” said Tautaa who launched the ball in an attempt to erase NorthPort’s 89-88 deficit.
“When I let it go, it felt good, everything clicked, my timing felt right, and all my thoughts were collected and calm. I was in the zone but it just didn’t go in. That was the only thing that didn’t happen, the ball going in.”
Chris McCullough grabbed Tautuaa’s miss and was sent to the line immediately and even though he split his chances, the Beermen were able to come up with one huge defensive stop.
“In my mind, I made it,” said Tautuaa who had 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists. “When I jumped I felt I made it, the only thing that didn’t go in was the ball, that’s the part that counts.”
Nonetheless, the show the Batang Pier put on in the conference was nothing short of impressive.
NorthPort barely made the playoffs in the Philippine Cup getting a 5-6 win-loss record for the seventh seed before losing to Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals.
The Batang Pier’s 9-2 record in this conference was the best-ever in franchise history and Taututaa hopes the team can build on it despite the early exit in the knockout rounds.
“We got the next conference to come back, I’m proud of how our team fought, it’s a tough team out there [San Miguel] and we did our best, we went wire to wire with them, it was literally down the wire,” said Tautuaa.
“If we stay on our track that we’re on and continue to get better, I think it’s scary to see what’s next because we’re clicking, we’re getting together… We’re sad right now, we lost, by when it comes to the next conference it’s exciting.”