ASI Taulava is set for retirement, based on the last conversation the 21-year veteran had with NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.
Guiao said that Taulava had told him that he would be playing his final game on Wednesday against Terrafirma where he played extended minutes during the game.
Guiao said Taulava’s retirement will also be a management decision since his contract will expire at the end of the conference.
“I think management will make that decision. We will consult but from what I understand, as of our last conversation, it was still retirement for Asi,” said Guiao during the postgame press conference.
Taulava played 14 minutes on Wednesday and finished with 11 points, four rebounds, and three blocks – one of which came at the expense of Terrafirma star CJ Perez – in NLEX’s 127-101 victory.
Guiao joked about Taulava’s performance may lead to him reconsidering his decision.
“Before this game, my understanding was he was set for retirement. Problema, gumanda nang konti laro niya kanina, baka manghingi na naman ng two years ito na kontrata,” said Guiao in jest.
One of the greatest players in the league could come to a close, once the retirement is official.
Taulava entered the league in 1999 as a direct hire of Mobiline as part of the influx of Fil-foreign players. He captured the MVP in 2003 while leading Talk ‘N Text to the All-Filipino title that year.
A four-time Mythical First Team winner, Taulava also had several appearances with the national team over the course of his career including the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and in one of the windows of the 2019 Fiba World Cup qualifiers.
Taulava also won an MVP with San Miguel in his brief run in the Asean Basketball League in 2013.