PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Comebacking Mac Tallo more matured after long PBA absence: ‘I just took a different path’

Delfin Dioquino

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Comebacking Mac Tallo more matured after long PBA absence: ‘I just took a different path’

COMEBACK. Mac Tallo in action for the Converge FiberXers in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

PBA Images

Mac Tallo plays in his first PBA game since 2019 as he suits up for Converge

MANILA, Philippines – Mac Tallo envisioned himself returning to the PBA despite being out of the league for four long years.

True enough, Tallo played in his first PBA game since 2019 as he suited up for Converge in a conference-opening 103-84 loss to Blackwater in the Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday, November 8.

He paced all FiberXers locals in scoring with 15 points to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists off the bench, serving as one of the few bright spots in the lopsided defeat that saw the young ball club trail by as many as 27 points.

“I think I just took a different path,” said the Cebuano guard. “It helped me grow, not just as a player, but as a person in real life.”

Drafted 10th overall by TNT in 2017, Tallo barely played for the Tropang Giga before he got picked up by NLEX from the free agent pool, although the Road Warriors eventually released him in 2019.

Tallo took his act to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, suiting up for the Bacolod Master Sardines, Manila Stars, and Bicol Volcanoes.

It was in 3×3 basketball, though, where the 29-year-old Tallo made a name for himself as he starred for Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 and became the No. 1 player in the country.

“My experience helped with my maturity inside the court. When I first got into the PBA, things were moving so fast. Now, they’re slowing down,” said Tallo.

Converge head coach Aldin Ayo played a key role in Tallo’s league comeback.

Ayo coached Tallo during their time with the Volcanoes in the MPBL and served as head trainer of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 before he joined the FiberXers last year.

“I told him I’ll only return to the PBA if he is the head coach. The day he got selected as head coach of Converge, he called me. He said, ‘I’m here.’ So right away, I asked permission from Chooks,” said Tallo.

Tallo credited Ayo for his development.

“Coach has been a big help in terms of my game. There were a lot of aspects in my game that changed, especially on offense,” said Tallo.

“I did not shoot the ball well before. I only improved my shooting because of coach.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.