Uichico on Tautuaa, Rosario: So far, so good (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines — Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico tapered down expectations on rookie big man Troy Rosario after the Tropang Texters’ come-from-behind 99-91 win over Chinese Taipei on Saturday in Day Two of the Master Game Face-MVP Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-6 Rosario showed his athleticism and speed, igniting Talk ‘N Text’s whirlwind fourth-quarter fiery rally to complete his team’s fightback from a 10-point, second half deficit.

“So far, okay naman si Troy and Mo (Tautuaa), but they are still trying to adjust to the system, kasi ang kailangan nilang gawin dito, sila mag-adjust sa mga kakampi nila,” Uichico told sports scribes after the game.

Rosario scored 17 of his 19 points in the final period, to go along with nine rebounds in a solid off-the-bench role.

The former National University forward was at his scoring element during the last five minutes of the game scoring seven unanswered points to help Talk ‘N Text grab the lead for good, 85-82.

Uichico noted that the recent William Jones Cup has somehow, helped Rosario and Tautuaa who played big roles under Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin in Taipei.

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“In terms of playing, yes (na-fast track) iyung paglaro ni Troy and Mo, but I have to play them more para maintindihan nila yung game,” explained the multi-titled PBA coach, who also doubles up as one of Baldwin’s assistants in Gilas.

The 53-year-old Uichico noted that Rosario’s youthful zeal tends to get in the way as he tries to take the ‘shortcut’ in executing their plays.

“Troy is too fast. He doesn’t wait for things to develop, but maturity will get him there,” he added.

As for Tautuaa, the 6-foot-7 top rookie pick last month, the Talk ‘N Text mentor said it will also take some time before the Fil-Tongan settles down with his new role in the PBA.

“Si Mo nawawala pa siya, siyempre sa ABL (Asean Basketball League) and (PBA) D-League, most of the plays and maybe, he gets the ball more doon, so dito (sa PBA), maraming adjustment pa siyang gagawin,” he said.

Talk ‘N Text, which dropped a 93-77 decision to Gilas Pilipinas in the opening day of the three-day tournament, tries to close it out with another win against the Wellington Saints on Sunday at 3 p.m.