A high school basketball superstar in Cebu, Mark “Macmac” Tallo is creating a buzz in Manila not only because of his feisty basketball skills, but also because of his controversial transfer from Ateneo to DLSU.
This 17-year old basketball prodigy switched sides after playing time problems under the Ateneo Blue Eagle.
He left Coach Noman Black’s fold after their Fil-Oil Flying V Preseason Tournament quarterfinals match against Mapua Institute of Technology, and eventually announced his formal transfer to the green side.
There are reports saying that Tallo was not allowed to play even against the weaker teams of the league.
“Coach Norman Black promised me that he will use me with Kiefer Ravena during the games, but it never happened,” Tallo shared.
After leaving the Katipunan-based squad, all of the other teams in the UAAP offered Tallo a spot in their roster, including two teams from the NCAA, Letran Knights and this year’s NCAA Champions, San Beda Red Lions.
Offers were flying for the former Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) and Jr. NBA MVP chose to sign up with his dream school, DLSU.
“I really wanted to play for La Salle from the start, but my parents decided to let me play in Ateneo simply because they were the first one to get me.” Macmac shared.
Fitting into the green jersey
The run-and-gun game of the Archers is what Tallo likes about the squad and he believes that he will play well under the system of former head coach, Dindo Pumaren.
Since the take-over of new head coach Gee Abanilla, and probably an introduction of a new coaching scheme, Tallo acknowledges the need to adjust once more.
This AB-SPM student does not have any problems adjusting because he really loves playing the game; he considers his Team B inclusion a blessing.
This rookie point guard credits his Team B Coach Cholo Villanueva for improving his shooting, free throws and speed.
Tallo moved to Manila with his mother, while his father still coaches in Cebu. It was not difficult for him to adjust here because he it is similar with his hometown.
The Cebu Eastern College high school stand-out has been exposed to the game of basketball since he was six years old. His father, a former professional cager, coached him in his junior year in Cebu Institute of Technology, where they were hailed champions.
The former Eagle proved himself in the well-anticipated Father Martin’s Cup Division II where his new squad, the DLSU Team B, reached the quarterfinals.
“He is influential in the team and he has the potential to become a leader,” LA Revilla remarked.
This 5’11 guard scores consistently in games and creates point opportunities for his teammates.
Ready for action
Tallo will not back down from the challenge in the upcoming season, and expects the Ateneans to bring him down every time he is on the court.
All he wants to do is to play for the Archers as he sees potential in his teammates. With such an opportunity given to him, he aims to help the Archers grab the championship once again.
There is renewed hope for the team and this new Archer may be the missing piece to the championship puzzle.
Setting aside all the doubts and criticisms against this blue-to-green cager, he says, “just believe in me, and it will happen.”