AWARE both of them are on the twilight of their respective playing careers, Asi Taulava is tickled at the idea of reuniting for one last season with former backcourt partner Jimmy Alapag.
“Right now, that’s just a possibility, but I don’t think it’s happening. But if ever it’ll happen, that will be the most fitting end to our careers. Me and Jimmy… back together… Boy, that’s a dream ever since,” said Taulava, who played with Alapag at Talk `N Text until the 42-year-old center was traded to the Coca-Cola Tigers in 2007.
“I can always help Jimmy and he can always inspire me to win another championship. He already collected five titles since I left. My last championship in the PBA was in 2003, when we were still together,” added Taulava, who was league MVP during that same season.
Alapag just announced recently his retirement from the national team, and is on the final years of his pro career.
A possible return to Talk N’ Text for Taulava became feasible after sister team NLEX brought the Air21 franchise at the end of last season. But Taulava himself said he has no idea if it will ever happen.
“Seriously, I haven’t explored that possibility (of being shipped to Talk 'N Text). But it’s a good one,” said Taulava, aware about the lack in size of the Tropang Texters’ current lineup.
In a previous interview with Spin.ph, Alapag reiterated that he treated Taulava as his ‘big brother since day one of his pro career.’
“It’s (Asi’s transfer to Talk 'N Text) out of my control but if an opportunity comes up, it’s one thing I’d be open to,” said Alapag with a smile.
“We had a lot of success together early on in our careers, so let’s see what happens,” added the sweet shooting guard.
Alapag also gave his praises to the work ethic of Taulava, marveling at how his close buddy is able to stay in top shape despite his advancing age.
“From what he is showing right now, with the way he’s playing, I am sure he can help any team. He is really setting a standard for ‘us all rookies’,” added Alapag.
Alapag however, was a bit reserved when asked about the possibility of Taulava coming back to Talk `N Text.
“It’s really hard to comment until it happens. But if the opportunity comes up, it’ll be great to have him with us,” said the player dubbed the ‘Mighty Mouse.’
“It’s part of the business but any time you share success with someone close to you and you look up to, it’s just amazing,” he added.
“I think the fans will also look forward to it. Asi was the franchise guy here for a long time. Seeing him play at a high level right now, he can always be of help here. But again, it’s always just a possibility,” said the Gilas Pilipinas team captain.
Meanwhile, a source within the Manny V. Pangilinan group disclosed there is no plan yet to reunite Taulava and Alapag under one team.
“Wala pang planong ganun ngayon eh. Pero depende sa mga bossing,” said the source. “Sa ngayon kasi stay sa NLEX si Asi, and Jimmy is one of the untouchables sa Talk N’ Text."
But the possibility of Taulava going back to Talk `N Text is not remote, as the team that has undergone massive rebuilding recently, currently lack the size to match-up against powerhouse teams such as San Miguel, San Mig, and Barangay Ginebra.
The Tropang Texters failed to get past the Mixers last season when they completed a sweep of all three conferences.