WHILE others choose to forget and move on, Asi Taulava wants his NLEX teammates to do the opposite.
After seeing the Road Warriors’ PBA Philippine Cup campaign come to an end at the semifinal stage on Tuesday night following their Game Six loss to Magnolia, the veteran slotman urged his teammates to use this as motivation to become even better in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“Just remember this pain,” Taulava said when asked what his advice to his teammates would be. “That’s the best teaching that you can ever tell the young players.”
“You don’t want to get mad at them, scream at them. Just remember the pain. When you come back next conference, you’ll be a better player,” he added.
The 45-year-old big man is no stranger to heartbreaks, having been to numerous semifinals stints only to fall short, and surprisingly winning just one championship in almost two decades in the league.
So whenever the evergreen slotman gets a chance to get another one championship – or at least play for one – he makes the most of it.
He believes Kiefer Ravena can lead them to the Promised Land – and be motivated by his first heartbreak.
“Like it or not, Kiefer is going to come out next conference and kill,” Taulava said. “He’ll remember the pain that he’s going through right now, and believe me, I’ve seen the kid play, seen him in college, he’s going to come out stronger this conference, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Still, Taulava cherished his first semifinal appearance since the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup.
“You fall short now, but if you think about it the last three years, I wasn’t in this position,” the 45-year old said. “Like coach Yeng said, the journey that we’re on right now, it’s been fun. We’ve gotten close as a team, and hopefully that translates into next conference where we’ll come back and try to do even better.”
“If you play eleven games in a season, you’re not going to get any good,” he added. “We just played extra eight more games in less than three weeks, cause in a conference, it’s like three months. And that was eight games we played in less than three weeks, so we’ve learned and we’ve grown, and known how each other plays.”
“So that’s what playoff basketball is, and hopefully, we can translate that with more wins for us and come back playing in the semifinals next conference,” he concluded.