May 02, 2021

Recharged SMB side a thrill to see for Tautuaa

FOLLOWING the fate that befell San Miguel in its campaign in the PBA bubble last year, Mo Tautuaa can't wait to see what the new season offers to a Beermen side that will return with a renewed roster.

The Fil-Tongan big man is thrilled to finally see June Mar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo coming on board injury-free, plus two-time scoring champion CJ Perez suiting up for the franchise for the first time to give the team a different outlook in terms of offense.

"We have June Mar coming back and CJ stepping in, I mean that's just more people to help make the game easier," Tautuaa told former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala in the program Power & Play.

Fajardo of course, missed the entire bubble season after undergoing surgery for his fractured right shin.

Romeo meanwhile, injured his right shoulder two games into the Beermen's campaign in the Philippine Cup, forcing him to leave Clark, Pampanga in a huff.

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The absence of the two along with the injuries suffered by the other San Miguel key players in the bubble led to the Beermen's failure to retain the crown they were trying to win for the sixth straight time.

"The bubble when were there, it felt weird because everyone kept getting hurt. It's just like every day there's someone new (who gets hurt)," recalled Tautuaa.

Still San Miguel was good enough to advance in the quarterfinals. But with injuries finally taking its toll, the fourth-seeded Beermen lost their twice-to-beat advantage against Meralco and bowed out of contention.

"We just kept on playing. I knew for myself I just have to keep it simple. Its basketball so you just have to keep on enjoying it," said the 32-year-old Tautuaa, who is currently with the Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 men's team training at the Inspire Sports Academy bubble for the coming qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics.

Tautuaa said he'll maintain that same attitude coming into the new season.
"We do have a lot of good players around us, so just trusting the coaches and make sure they lead us into the right direction," he stressed. (RG)
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