THE conclusion may not have been what Macmac Tallo and the rest of the Manila Chooks TM wanted but a taste of 3x3 action in the 2021 Fiba 3X3 World Tour Doha Masters has definitely lit a fire from under the Cebuano basketball star.
“I want to go back na sa Manila to train and get stronger! This is a dream come true! This is just the start of our journey!” shared the 6-foot Tallo not long after Manila Chooks TM rallied to defeat the hometown squad, Doha, 21-20, in their final game in the qualifying draw.
The Filipinos failed to advance to the main draw after they lost to Graz, 17-22, in their first match. However, they more than made up for it in their second outing. Pitted against a towering Doha squad that did not have a player smaller than 6-foot-5, Tallo said that that win was made possible because of their sheer heart and indomitable will.
“Sa second game, it was all about heart,” shared Tallo.
“Ang sabi ko nga we’ve been together for only two months and maliliit pa line up namin! We all huddled up and I told them ‘coach, ayaw talaga pumasok tira ko. Ako didiskarte para create ako tapos pag mag help sila, open kayo, makakashoot kayo. So those last two drives ko nagawa ko and it helped my team to go to overtime,” Tallo narrated.
While Tallo scored the basket that tied things up at 19-all, it the team’s elder statesman, Chico Lañete, that delivered the winning basket for Manila Chooks TM as he eluded his defender with a nifty fake before burying the corner jumper.
Tallo shared shooting from the perimeter was their best weapon since Doha’s players were just too tall.
“Hirap tirahan and ataakihin kasi dumedepensa sa akin 6’5 and malalaki. So hirap maka adjust during the game. When we were in Philippines, sobrang hirap maka hanap kalaban kasi we were following the protocols. So nag papractice kami ng four lang so wala kaming kalaban. So sa game na kami lahat nag adjust,” added Tallo.