MO Tautuaa and CJ Perez elevate their partnership from 3x3 to the bigger stage.
Their campaign with Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 team in the recent Olympic Qualifying Tournament over and done with, Tautuaa and Perez now team up with San Miguel Beer in the hope of helping the franchise regain the Philippine Cup title in the coming PBA 46th season.
The 32-year-old Fil-Tongan couldn't contain being thrilled at the prospect of playing 5-on-5 together with Perez, having seen how he emerged as the leading scorer in the league the past two years as well as the work he'd done while the 3x3 team was preparing for its campaign in the Olympic qualifier recently held in Graz, Austria.
"It's gonna be cool. We've got a look of it a little in the 3x3 this year as much as we can," said Tautuaa in the weekly program The Chasedown.
"He's a good player. He obviously got all of these, scoring titles, and whatever."
Perez, 27, was acquired by the Beermen in a trade with Terrafirma during the off season that saw the team gave up Matt Ganuelas Rosser, Russel Escoto, Gelo Alolino, and the no. 8 first round pick in the recent rookie draft.
He eventually worked with Tautuaa in the 3x3 national team after a successful campaign in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in which they powered Gilas Pilipinas to the gold medal in the inaugural staging of the event in the biennial meet.
Their bid in the last Olympic qualifier though, ended in disappointing fashion as the national team failed to register a win in all four of its outing in the preliminaries.
Hopefully, the result won't be the same now that the two of them gets to play alongside San Miguel stars such as Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, and comebacking six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.
Tautuaa said everything all boils down on how Perez will be able to fit himself in with the system of the Beermen.
"We'll see how he works alongside with me and June Mar," he said.
"I really feel good about our team this year. I feel we have a good cohesion together. And once we figured that out, I feel like we'll really be a good team." (RG)