ASI Taulava’s sacrifice on Holy Week break paid off as he made a resurrection on Easter Sunday for NLEX in its 88-75 victory over Blackwater in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
After a mini slump in the last two games that saw him average just 5.5 points, seven rebounds, one assist, and 0.5 block, the evergreen slotman registered 22 points, 15 boards, four assists, and two blocks to help the Road Warriors get their campaign back on track.
“After messing that up, I thanked coach for being patient with me and letting me come around,” Taulava said after the game. “I had a good two weeks, getting the conditioning back.”
The 43-year-old cager didn’t mind the Holy Week grind as the Road Warriors, whose last game was last March 13, held practice straight the last two weeks, only resting on Good Friday.
“Work, work, and work,” Taulava said. “It was good we had two weeks. It was so competitive in practice. That’s what we lacked in the first seven games.”
“It was actually like a training camp,” he added. “It was just more of scrimmages and getting there and getting after each other. Sometimes it got a little physical in practice, but that’s a great thing because we’re preparing for the playoffs.”
With the win against the Elite, the Road Warriors moved to .500 with a 4-4 win-loss record, creating a five-team logjam.
“If we had lost to Blackwater, we might as well kiss the playoff goodbye,” Taulava said. “The quotient will play a factor in this.”