MANILA, Philippines – Mo Tautuaa is already with a new team in GlobalPort, and as fate would have it, his first game as a Batang Pier was against his former squad TNT KaTropa.
But Tautuaa didn’t exactly have a pleasant on-court reunion with the KaTropa following his ejection late in the Batang Pier’s 114-128 loss on Sunday, April 22.
Tempers flared between the Filipino-Tongan and TNT import Jeremy Tyler after the former kicked the latter in the chest during a dunk play.
As Tautuaa finished a slam with less than 3 minutes left in the game and the Batang Pier trailing 105-118, he slightly got a bit of Tyler’s body and face with his feet.
After that, the TNT reinforcement held on to Tautuaa’s feet. Tautuaa, who was still hanging in the rim, kicked Tyler in the chest in retaliation.
A technical on Tyler and a flagrant two on Tautuaa.— ESPN5 (@Sports5PH) April 22, 2018
That's it for Mo's Globalport debut.https://t.co/CXIZNA10tR | #PBAonESPN5 #PBALaroMoTo pic.twitter.com/63KCEkEdDS
Fortunately, the two were separated quickly enough before things turned uglier.
The former top pick of the 2015 draft, though, was assessed a flagrant foul penalty 2, which led to his ejection. He finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Although tensions ran high in the highly physical contest, Tautuaa downplayed the incident as “it’s just basketball,” even if it was against a TNT side he spent his first 3 years in the PBA with.
“I didn’t care. It doesn’t matter to me at all. It’s another game, basketball game, and that’s all that is. Talk N’ Text is just another team, another roster now. You know, it’s basketball,” said Tautuaa.
The 28-year-old, who was shipped from TNT to GlobalPort with future picks for Terrence Romeo and Yousef Taha, admitted he’s still a work in progress with his new squad.
“It’s just my second game with the team. I missed the first game because I was sick. If you can hear my voice, you would sense that I’m still sick. I’m still trying to play with the flu, and I have tonsilitis or something so, I’m playing under the weather. And there’s nothing I can do about that. I have to come up and go out to the floor,” he said.
Tautuaa has a few days to get back in shape before the Batang Pier face the Meralco Bolts on Friday, April 27, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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