Prodded by champion head coach Aldin Ayo, Cebuano hoops star Macmac Tallo has gotten in the best shape of his life as he prepares to represent the country in the 2021 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Doha Masters later this month.
Playing under the banner of Manila Chooks TM, Tallo will be teaming up with fellow Cebuano Zachy Huang, veteran guard Chico Lañete and athletic forward Dennis Santos to compete against some of the best 3x3 teams from across the globe.
The former two-time Cesafi MVP relayed that he had been working hard for the past three months to shed weight after his coach called him out on it during their first meeting.
Tallo recalled that Ayo, the successful yet controversial former basketball head coach of Letran, La Salle and the University of Santo Tomas, told him, “Tsong, mag papayat ka. Magpa-condition ka kasi overweight ka sa height mo.”
“Naisip ko tumatanda na ako and this is my last resort, papalampasin ko pa ba?” mused Tallo in a conversation with SunStar Cebu.
From weighing 100 kilograms (kg), the 6-foot-2 guard now weighs a mere 86.7 kg and is bubbling with excitement with this chance to play 3x3 basketball at the highest level.
“Sobrang excited ko, kasi I’m gonna represent our country. Siyempre, dream ko rin ‘to and kahit sino tanungin mo lahat ng tao gustong gusto e-represent bansa natin kaya ako sobrang excited ako sa opportunity na binigay, sa tiwala nila coach and Chooks sa akin,” said Tallo.
After playing mostly 5-on-5 for the past few years in stints in the PBA and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, Tallo initially thought that 3x3 basketball would be a breeze. He was sorely mistaken.
“I thought at first madali lng kasi 3x3 pero little did I know hirap pala kasi tuloy-tuloy ‘to, walang pahingahan and as you can see, how they play physical sobra and that what’s coach Aldin is teaching us, to adapt to ganitong level of playing,” Tallo shared.
With just a week before the team departs for Doha, Tallo is looking forward to getting his first taste of FIBA 3x3.
“Sobrang ready na. This is my first time playing sa FIBA. Siyempre alam ko sa sarili ko may mga kulang pa ako lalo na sa experience pero makukuha kasi yun pag nakalaro na ako dun. Pero physically and mentally, ready na to represent our country.” (JNP)