ASI Splash is going for an encore, and he’s eager do it on the biggest stage in the continent.
Showing off his new tricks in the international stage last month in the Asia League Super 8 in Macau, the 45-year-old Asi Taulava is looking to shock more people with his improved three-point shooting as he aims to make the Philippine team in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
Proving that he really means business, he even enlisted a legend at that to fine-tune the new weapon he has in his arsenal in Jimmy Alapag.
“When you want to perfect your shooting, you go find a legend of a shooter and let him work you out, teach you the ins and outs of how to shoot the ball, and position your ball to get yourself ready,” said Taulava, getting help from longt-time friend Alapag, the PBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter.
Taulava worked with Alapag on Tuesday as the former braces for possibly his third time in the continental showpiece.
And the NLEX big man is just happy that the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach, his teammate back in the early 2000s at Talk ‘N Text, spent time to help him as he tries to continue to defy Father Time.
“I’m just so grateful that I have such a great relationship with him and at the last minute, I can call him and ask him for a favor to work with him in the afternoon. He took time out and fit me in his schedule. We got in there, got to work, and just got me ready,” he said. “All I’m preparing myself for is the Asian Games. People may think I'm old and get tired after my first practice in the morning with NLEX, but if you want to learn and like coach said, shoot at a high percentage, you got to put in the time and that's what I’m doing.”
The fact also isn’t lost on Taulava, who entered the league in 1998 as a direct hire, that he’s being mentored by Alapag, who came to the PBA five years later.
“Sometimes, you got to humble yourself for the greater good. Jimmy, this is his strength, the perimeter and shooting threes. And like I said earlier, what better way to learn to shoot threes than to learn it from one of the best shooters to play in Philippine basketball,” he said.
So what has Taulava has to say to those who tell him that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
“Watch me. Watch the Ageless One.”