AN Asi Taulava and Japeth Aguilar frontcourt alliance will definitely make Barangay Ginebra a force to reckon with if and when the most popular team in the PBA can strike a deal for the reigning Asean Basketball League MVP.
Rival coaches are understandably not looking forward to the prospect of seeing the two 6-foot-9 big men teaming up for the Kings, who they believe would be hard to beat if that happens.
Coach Yeng Guiao of defending Governors Cup champion Rain or Shine stressed acquiring Aguilar alone has already bolstered the inside game of the Kings.
What more if the veteran Taulava is added to the mix.
“Yun lang may Japeth Aguilar ka na, malaking bagay na yun. Kung makukuha pa nila si Asi, mas malaking bagay `yun,” said the newly-elected congressman of Pampanga’s first district.
One advantage of such a combination is that the two can be played at the same time owing to Aguilar's preference playing at big forward, Guiao said.
“Yung Asi and Japeth puwede mo kasing palaruin ng sabay `yun. Imagine mo `yun, tapos may import pa sila. So size-wise, walang tatalo sa kanila pag nagkaganoon,” he added.
Guiao believes Ginebra management is dead-bent on forming a twin-tower combination up front, owing to persistent reports about the Kings’ interest in signing up the 40-year-old Taulava, whose playing rights in the PBA still belongs to Meralco.
“I think `yung ang objective nila, parang overkill sa big man post. Pero kailangan mo talaga na magkaroon ka ng ganung intimidating factor,” said Guiao.
“Ang gandang kumbinasyon nun.”
The outspoken mentor also didn’t hide his admiration for the vintage performances of Taulava in the recent ABL season that saw him steer the Beermen to their first-ever league championship following a three-game sweep of Indonesia in the Finals.
Air21 coach Franz Pumaren is likewise amazed with how the Kings are trying to rebuild their frontline for the season-ending conference.
“Of course, they will have the ceiling. Isang quick big guy and a veteran slotman,” said Pumaren.
The multi-titled collegiate coach said acquiring Taulava would leave Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua with a "happy problem" in his hands.
“Ang lalaki ng Ginebra nun, kaso madi-displace na naman `yung Kerby (Raymundo) at Billy Mamaril,” he said.
“Remember Ginebra also has Rico Maierhofer, Rudy Hatfield, and Willie Wilson. Souped-up team na talaga ang Kings if that happens.
“It will be a happy problem for coach Al. Ang isa pang maganda run, ma-tsa-challenge `yung ibang big men to step up.”