Westport Malaysia Dragons' power forward Moala Tautuaa (centre) in action against two San Miguel Beermen players during an ABL basketball match in KL last year. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: For Westports Malaysia Dragons’ power forward Moala Tautuaa, his return to the team this year signifies a wish to settle some unfinished business.
Last year, the 25-year-old Tautuaa, who hails from the US, but is of Filipino-Tongan descent, was troubled by a series of back injuries in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Now a healthier and fully-fit Tautuaa, is ready to give back to the Dragons as they seek a maiden championship win after finishing in the semi-finals in the four previous seasons.
“I missed it here and I really like playing for Coach Ariel (Vanguardia) and that is one of the reasons why I decided to come back,” said the 2m-tall Tautuaa.
“This year I feel healthier. I’ve had my share of back and knee problems last year but I’ve had them fixed during the off-season and I’m just ready to go.
“I also really like the team that we have right now. There is more chemistry and the emphasis is more on playing like a team,” added Tautuaa.
The livewire of the team who brings loads of energy in his play had a solid start, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds as the Dragons lost their first match 82-88 to HiTech Bangkok City.
The Dragons’ will play their next match on July 27 against the Singapore Slingers at the OCBC Arena and will definitely need Tautuaa to be at his best once again as they look to pick up their first win of the season.
The Slingers meanwhile are second in the league after beating newcomers Laskar Dreya South Sumatra 62-46 last Sunday. Vietnam’s Saigon Heat are top of the standings after beating 2012 champions Indonesia Warriors 72-56 in their first game.