FOR former PBA legend Asi Taulava, playing in the ABL for the San Miguel Beermen is no longer about personal glory.
Two days days after his debut in Southeast Asia's basketball tournament, Taulava said he valued the Beermen’s 64-53 victory over reigning titlists Indonesia Warriors more than coming up with an impressive performance.
“We’re (with Eric Menk) here not to make a name for ourselves, but we’re here to help our team win a championship,” said Taulava.
“There’s nothing sweeter than a championship, all other awards… we got that earlier in our career. Now we’re coming here to be good role models for the younger guys,” added Taulava. “We want a championship … if we leave a good name in the ABL… so be it!”
Taulava, however, described his first game in the regional league as a “shock."
“It’s totally a different ballgame, teams got two good imports… But we gotta get used to it. Whatever our coach asks us to do we’ll do it. The most important thing there is we win," claimed Taulava, looking forward to better game against Saigon Heat on January 26.
Meanwhile, Taulava and Menk’s teammate, Leo Avenido, said the two's sub-par performances were expected considering the adjustments they are going through.
“Nangapa pa talaga sila, kita mo sa laro nila na nanibago," said Avenido, the reigning league MVP who has been in the ABL since its birth four years ago.
Menk registered six points while Taulava only chipped in two points plus 10 boards in a game that was dominated mostly by veteran Beermen Avenido and Chris Banchero as well as imports Gabe Freeman and Brian Williams.
“Hindi naman mag-iiwan ng pangalan sa PBA yung dalawa na yun kung hindi sila magaling. I’m sure, babawi yung mga yun. Next game or two games from now," added the streak-shooting Avenido.
Among the issues which Avenido believes bothered both Taulava and Menk are the different kind of officiating, new playing atmosphere, and physicality of the game.
In their 13-year careers in the PBA, both Taulava and Menk registered double-double averages in points and rebounds.