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Rookies starting to shine

Games Tomorrow
(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. – Blackwater vs Meralco
7 p.m. – San Miguel vs Rain or Shine

Talk ’N Text rookies Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario rebounded from their respective poor showings in their pro debut, but the two understand that they have to continue improving to help the Tropang Texters in their campaign in the PBA Smart Bro Philippine Cup.

Tautuaa and Rosario, TNT’s pair of 6-foot-7 players, finished with 12 points each and combined for 11 points in a 101-97 victory against Mahindra last Saturday that improved their record to 1-1.

The two, however, are not satisfied.

“I’m still not where I want to be. But it’s a step in the right direction,” said the Filipino-Tongan Tautuaa, the team’s No. 1 overall in the last PBA Rookie Draft.

In his first game in the league, the onetime PBA D-League Most Valuable Player (MVP) Tautuaa finished with just two points, two rebounds and three assists in a 98-114 setback to Alaska.

Other rookies this season have shown their skills at least in the first 10 days of the season-opening conference.

Meralco’s Chris Newsome, selected No. 4 overall by the Bolts, had an impressive opening game as he finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists in an 85-101 setback to defending champion San Miguel Beer.

The 6-foot-2 Newsome provided the opening week highlight when he threw a thunderous tomahawk dunk on SMB’s defensive specialist Arwind Santos in the third quarter.

Newsome’s fellow rookie and backcourt partner Baser Amer was selected No. 7 overall and was signed the other day to a three-year contract following his stint with the Red Lions, which lost to the Letran Knights in the NCAA Finals.

Maverick Ahanmisi, the No. 3 overall pick of Rain or Shine, has played well in two games, particularly in the team’s 108-94 win against Mahindra where he scored 14 points, added five rebounds and two assists.

Other rookies to watch this season are Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson and NLEX’s Garvo Lanete and Glenn Khobuntin.