PLAYING for the San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League feels like playing for the Philippines for many-time national player Asi Taulava.
He's also very much willing to play for the national team again.
“If I’m not busy with the San Miguel Beermen, the door is always open,” said Taulava. “Right now, the focus is on San Miguel and to win a championship. We work for six months. But if they knock on the door when the season is over, I can help.”
Taulava has time and again answered the call for flag and country, even at the last minute. He last saw action for the original Smart Gilas squad in 2011 during the Fiba-Asia championship when the previously all-amateur squad was reinforced at the last minute by professional players.
Taulava began playing for the national team in 2002 during the Busan Asian Games where the country finished in fourth place after a heartbreaking loss to Korea in the semifinals.
Playing for San Miguel in the Asean league has given Taulava the feeling of playing for the national squad all over again.
“I want to go out there and play for San Miguel knowing that we are donning the national team. Basically, it’s the national team all over again,” Taulava said, now 39.
After moving to the Beermen following his stint with the Meralco Bolts in the PBA, Taulava is very determined to win a title for the Beermen against their Southeast Asian opponents.
“Throughout my whole career, I haven’t lost to a Southeast Asian team and I’ll be damned if I let that happen,” said Taulava.