Tallo gears up for semis game versus former team La Salle in NCC tourney
For Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) MVP Mark Jayven Tallo, Southwestern University’s (SWU) recent title win in the Southern Island leg of the 2013 National Collegiate Championship was more than just revenge against bitter rivals University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers.
It was a chance to vindicate himself for choosing to spurn the bright lights of Manila in favor of the beckoning warmth of hearth and home.
Tallo gets this shot on Dec. 9, fittingly against the team he last played for as the Cobras battle the UAAP champions La Salle Green Archers at the start of the Final Four at the Arena in San Juan City.
When asked about the prospect of playing versus players he had grown close to in the two years he spent at the Taft-based hoops powerhouse, Tallo grew pensive but nevertheless expressed his readiness to scrap it out.
“Actually, it is hard to explain what I feel about our upcoming games in Manila, especially versus La Salle,” Tallo said after SWU’s 68-60 win over the Lancers Wednesday night. “But I’m ready to face them.”
After originally committing to Ateneo in 2009, Tallo transferred to bitter rivals La Salle, where he averaged 1.3 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 11 minutes of action per game during the 2012 season.
But with La Salle recruiting yet another point guard in Bacolod wonderkid Kib Montalbo, Tallo felt that his time was up and opted to transfer yet again, this time back home to SWU.
That move has paid dividends for the 6-foot point guard as he went on to have a sensational 2013 season and was named as the Cesafi’s league MVP.
And with this return to Manila looming on the horizon, Tallo feels that this is a wonderful opportunity to show that contrary to what many critics say, he can indeed mix it up with the big boys.
“This is a big opportunity to face them and to redeem myself,” added Tallo.
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