PBA: As Tyler Stone gets ready to become a father, Ivan Aska assumes the role of SMB import while, Tallo thanks Chooks for helping him regain confidence

Nov 8, 2023

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San Miguel changed its imports prior to its PBA Season 48 premiere. 

The league website announced on Monday that Ivan Aska had been added by the Beermen to take Tyler Stone’s spot as the Commissioner’s Cup winner.

This next weekend in the US, Stone’s wife is expected to give birth.

The 33-year-old Murray State player, who is listed as 6-foot-8, has already arrived in the area and is currently completing the necessary paperwork to be eligible to play.

As a professional since 2012, Aska has traveled to Uruguay, South Korea, Mexico, Israel, Greece, France, Macedonia, Belgium, and Puerto Rico.

He recently played for the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional, the highest basketball league in Mexico, with Soles de Mexicali.

Aska has extensive FIBA experience as well, having won two gold medals in the FIBA CBC Championship (CaribeBasket) while playing for the Virgin Islands men’s team. This covers the 2015 edition as well, for which he received the MVP award.

In June of last year, Aska participated in the Virgin Islands’ FIBA AmeriCup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers and ended as the team’s top scorer with averages of 16.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

On November 15, San Miguel will play their first game of the season at the Ynares Center in Antipolo versus Thomas Robinson and NLEX.

Before the PBA returned, it was not as easy for Mac Tallo to rejoin the Philippine Basketball Association as he had thought.

He did not realize, and neither did Converge, that the 29-year-old Cebu guard still had a punishment to serve after NLEX freed him in 2019.

Tallo was found to be positive for a prohibited drug during that period and was scheduled to undergo a six-month suspension.

He was never informed of the suspension, though, because the Road Warriors had already freed him.

Tallo endured numerous restless nights for weeks while he awaited the PBA’s decision.

He was finally cleared to play for the FiberXers on Friday.

Ayo was the one who thought Tallo was deserving of another shot. Tallo was the first player Ayo wished to have as his team’s face and cornerstone when he was with Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3.

Tallo put in three years of hard training and eventually became the best 3×3 player in the nation. It was Spida-Mac again.

But in early October, as the nation’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics were dwindling, Chooks-to-Go and Tallo came to a mutual understanding that led him to play 5-on-5 basketball once more.

Tallo will always be appreciative of Chooks-to-Go, its vice president Mel Macasaquit, and owner Ronald Mascarinas.

The player will take on a new challenge on Wednesday when they play 5-on-5 basketball again against the Blackwater Bossing.

While he is eager about what lies ahead, Tallo is keeping his hopes low because he needs to get used to playing 5-on-5 basketball after spending his entire childhood playing 3×3.

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