ASI Taulava is rooting for the San Antonio Spurs, specifically old man Tim Duncan, to win this year’s NBA Finals.
That he has strong affection for the 38-year-old, two-time MVP who’s expected to go down as one of the greatest big men of all time, is understandable.
“I see myself in him,” said Taulava, who at 41, appeared to have discovered the fountain of youth, given the way he’s been playing this season for the Air21 Express.
“He inspires me. Tim Duncan is definitely my man.”
Duncan had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Spurs’ 110-95 win over the reigning champion Miami Heat in Game One of the title series, enough to bring a smile on Taulava’s face and the relatively pro-San Antonio crowd which joined Spin.ph early Friday morning at the jampacked New Orleans Café on Bonifacio High Street for the first of its viewing parties in celebration of its second anniversary.
Taulava was among the celebrities who joined the viewing event hosted by lovely courtside reporter Rizza Diaz and shown in partnership with BTV and NBA Premium together with Pharmaton, Razor Sports, 360 Fitness Club, Converse, Juice Jab, Toby’s Sports, Taters, Devant, and Phoenix Petroleum.
The one-time PBA MVP mingled with the crowd and gamely posed for photos and signed autographs along with other guests such as cage great and current San Mig Super Coffee team manager Alvin Patrimonio, Alaska deputy coach Louie Alas and sons Kevin and Kiefer Alas, San Mig official and basketball legend Samboy Lim along with brother former Letran stalwart Bonbon Lim, and MVP Group media liason Virgil Villavicencio.
Watch a video of the event:
Kevin Alas says he’s all for San Antonio, while his father is for Miami for the simple reason that he likes Heat Fil-Am coach Erik Spoelstra to win another title.
But judging from the way Game One went, the elder Alas feels the Spurs could be in for a grand payback after losing to the same team in seven hard-fought games during last year’s Finals.
“Dikit 'yung laban, kaya magiging dikit din ang series. Pero ang feeling ko San Antonio,” he said.
Villavicencio likes San Antonio’s chance of winning in six games, but sees Miami clinching a third straight title if the series goes the full route.
Diaz of the PBA courtside report and Money Ball fame, admitted he’s going for Lebron James and the Heat, but added, “I can’t hate the Spurs because they are good guys.”
Patrimonio, one of only two players to win the MVP award four times along with fellow Hall of Famer Ramon Fernandez, has been vocal about who he favors between the two.
“Go Heat!” he exclaimed over the microphone at halftime - with the Spurs leading, 54-49 – as prizes were being raffled off, drawing laughter from the early morning crowd.
But by the time Tony Parker buried a three-pointer in the final 1:14 of the game to give the Spurs a commanding 105-95 lead, Patrimonio was already singing a different tune.
“Go Spurs,” shouted the ever-popular San Mig Coffee executive, bringing the house down.