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Mac Tallo shares his basketball journey from Cesafi to pro basketball 

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | March 08,2024 - 06:00 PM

Mac Tallo career

Mac Tallo during his FIBA 3×3 World Tour game. | Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Mark Jayven Tallo, or popularly known as Mac “Spidamac” Tallo, has become a regular fixture in Cebu’s highly-competitive basketball scene, but not everyone knows how and where this stellar point guard started everything.

In his recent guesting with the CDN SportsTalk, Tallo recounted how he fell in love with basketball that eventually paved the way for him to become one of the best point guards in Cebu today. 

According to Tallo, he started playing basketball at six in Sitio Kawayan in Barangay Sambag Dos. 

READ: Mac Tallo: A dominant force in the local basketball scene

With a father who is an ex-PBA player, it wasn’t difficult to figure out what sport Tallo would play. 

Most importantly, his entire community is very passionate with basketball. 

“Didto man gud sad amo-a grabe ka passionate ang mga taw didto og basketball,” said the 30-year-old Tallo, a two-time Cesafi MVP.

(There in our home, the people there are so passionate about basketball.)

“Playing against those guys sa amo, didto ko nakat-on unsaon ug duwa physically, unsaon paglusot kay gamay kaayo ang court namo didto, para lang gyud makascore,” he said.

READ: Mac Tallo spearheads Alicia KSB in back-to-back wins in cash-rich Araw ng Sibugay cage wars 

(Playing against those guys at home, there I learned how to play physically, how to drive to the basket to score because the court we were playing there is so small.)

He said that having an ex-PBA player dad, he already felt the pressure to follow on his footsteps. 

However, it was easy for him to develop in the sport since he fell in love with it the first time he held a basketball with his hands. 

“Akong papa man gud is an ex-PBA player, growing up nga naay papa nga ing-ana, there was already a pressure. For me who loves basketball, gusto sad nako ipursue ang basketball, but I also see my dad as a hero,” said Tallo. 

(My father is an ex-PBA player, growing up and having a father such as this, there was already a pressure. For me, who loves basketball, I also like to pursue basketball, but I also see my dad as a hero.)

READ: Tallo moves on after Converge contract termination

CESAFI career

Tallo also said that five Cesafi-member schools rejected him, before he landed to the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) which was the only school that recruited him.

Tallo paid back CIT-U with a Cesafi high school title in 2009 that drew the attention of UAAP powerhouses Ateneo Blue Eagles and De La Salle Green Archers. 

Because of the generous offers, Tallo spent one UAAP season for each school, but eventually flew back to Cebu and suit up for the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras where he became a two-time Cesafi MVP and a Cesafi men’s basketball champion. 

“Pinakamemorable gyud nako kay ang sa SWU, kadto nagchampion mi in my second year. Grabe among work ato gud. In my rookie year, we were undefeated, but in the finals we choked, napildi mi pagkafinals,” Tallo recalled.

(That is my most memorable experience is that from SWU, when we became champions in my second year. My work at that time was really great. In my rookie year, we were undefeated, but in the finals we choked, we lost in the finals.)

“Pagkanext year, among gibuhos tanan kay sakit kaayo to ang nahitabo nato sa finals last year. So it was a memorable time nga na champion mi,” he said.

(In the next year, we poured all of what we have because what happened in the finals last year was really painful. So it was a memorable time that we became champions.)

Tallo went on to get drafted in the PBA after his four-year stint with the SWU-Phinma Cobras. 

After his brief PBA stint, he became popular in the international 3×3 scene through Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas.

Tallo eventually earned the distinction of being the No. 1 Filipino 3×3 player.

READ: Jeremy Lin, New Taipei look to stop Chiba in EASL Final Four

Lack of confidence

Contrary to what many basketball fans  see on how Tallo dazzles on the court with his crafty crossovers and dead shot three pointers, he admitted that he always lacked the confidence. 

Still, he managed to overcome this weakness through hardwork, discipline, and heart. 

“I overcame that challenge. Sige ko og duwa. It really helped build my confidence, and I didn’t give up on my dream, confidence nagdala nako kung asa ko karon,” added Tallo.

(I overcame that challenge. I often played. It really helped build my confidence, and I did not give up on my dream, my confidence that I bring now.)

Currently, Tallo hasn’t committed to any teams yet, after he severed ties with the Converge FiberXers. 

He said that he’s currently managing his own basketball career with the hopes of playing with a new pro team in the future. 

“Ang basketball karon, lahi na, it’s a job. For you to have that job, you have to love it, every single bit of it. Mao na nakatabang nako, you have to have confidence, bisan grabe ang pressure, you have to overcome it. Put God first and everything will follow,” Tallo said.

(The basketball now is different, it is a job. For you to have that job, you have to love it, every single bit of it. That is what helped me, you have to have confidence, even if the pressure is great, you have to overcome it. Put God first and everything will follow.)

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TAGS: basketball, Cebu, Mac Tallo, Mark Jayven Tallo

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