ASI Taulava said he is ready to retire once he gives the NLEX Road Warriors a maiden PBA championship.
Reflecting on his long career after reaching another milestone with his 6,000th rebound on Friday night, Taulava said the one thing left on his bucket list is to win another championship in the PBA before he calls it a day.
“Everything else that comes along the way has been great. But the ultimate thing that I have on my checklist is to win the championship,” Taulava said.
“That’s the reason I’ve been playing. That’s the reason I’m still challenging and pushing myself. Trying to get that one off the checklist,” he said.
“I think if I win it, I think it’s time to walk away and end it on a good note,” Taulava added.
Taulava will turn 43 on March 2 but is still very much active in his 17th season in the pro league, saying he has no definite timeline for retirement.
“I’ll just continue playing and enjoying the game. It’s fun seeing my teammates and the players on the other teams. I saw them when they were young, when they were in elementary, and now they are in the PBA,” said Taulava.
Taulava got one goal off his checklist when he became part of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that finished second to China in the last Fiba Asia Men's Championship in Changsha last year.
“One of the things that is out of my checklist is a medal in Fiba and thank goodness for Dray (Blatche), Calvin (Abueva), and all the guys in Gilas 3.0. That was one of the goals, to get that off my checklist,” said Taulava.
“So the next one, the biggest one for me right now, is to win the championship,” said Taulava.
Taulava said he intends to win the championship with NLEX, to add to the only PBA title of his career which he won with Talk 'N Text in the 2003 All-Filipino Conference.
“I love it at NLEX, Boss Ronald (Dulatre) and even my former teammate coach Boyet (Fernandez). That’s kinda crazy that he was my former teammate and now he is my coach.
"But it’s a great feeling playing for him. The respect is there and he has earned his respect as a coach. I love the way he pushes me and how he challenges me. It’s a great feeling,” said Taulava.
His current contract expires at the end of the season, but Asi is leaving his fate to NLEX management.
“I love NLEX. Whatever boss wants, I’ll be happy to stay,” he said.