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 definitely lit a fire from under the Cebuano basketball star.
“I want to go back to 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 its 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 win was made possible because of their sheer heart and indomitable will.
“During the second game, it was all about heart,” shared Tallo.
“In the huddle, I told my coach and teammates that my shots weren’t falling. I told them I would just have to be creative in making a distraction and when I get double-teamed, that will leave the rest of the shooters open. I’m glad I was able to run those last two drives to the basket and it helped my team go into overtime,” Tallo narrated.
While Tallo scored the basket that tied things up at 19-all, it was 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 that shooting from the perimeter was their best weapon since Doha’s players were just too tall.
“It was tough going against taller defenders. In fact, while training in the Philippines, we had to practice with no opposing players at all since the health protocol didn’t allow more players on the court. So we all adjusted in-game,” added Tallo. (JNP)