STARS sometimes do come down from the sky.
PBA star Asi Taulava brought cheers to basketball players from a faraway barangay in Cagdianao on Dinagat Island to a once-in-a-lifetime experience by playing basketball with them.
Taulava, visiting Barangay Valencia as a guest of Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC), surprised the townfolk when he suddenly showed up at the community’s basketball court.
Nickel Asia vice-president for operations Engr Rolly Cruz told SPIN.ph that Taulava was supposed to do some personal shootaround and drills until he decided to just play with the boys.
“Asi can’t use our gym because it was being repainted for the barangay fiesta. So our CMC officials wanted to close down the barangay court so he can perform his drills,” said Cruz.
“But he told me he doesn’t want to deprive the players the chance to use the court, so instead he just played with them,” he added. "Such a humble gesture."
Taulava gave the players, who are mostly employed by the Cagdianao Mining Corporation, a high level basketball match.
The 18-year PBA veteran played two straight streetball format games, surprisingly playing point guard most of the time to the delight of the hundreds of residents who soon converged on the court.
In the two race-to-15 games, Taulava handed out 16 assists and scored five ‘two-pointers’ including the game winner in his team’s 15-11 first match win before taking charge in their 15-13 victory in the ‘rebanse.'
See scenes from the basketball match:
“I just wanted to make the people happy. They were playing basketball when I arrived. Who am I to just clear the court so I can do my shootaround alone?” Taulava told CMC officials.
When asked if he was not afraid of getting injured playing with the locals, the 6-9 slotman shook his head.
“No, they wont hurt you because they love playing with you.”
“And sometimes, mingling and appearing in selfies with them won’t be enough. You have to immerse yourself with the community to better appreciate their endearment for you. The feeling from that perspective is priceless,” added Taulava in a chat with the mining officials.
That’s not all.
The NLEX veteran gave away his valued Under Armour Steph Curry 2 shoes to the player who impressed him the most from the rival team.
“Hey kid, you play well. You want these shoes? OK, it’s yours. Let’s play one more game, huh? Let’s exercise,” Taulava told Felix Gases, 18.
Gaseswas just recently hired by CMC to work as a trapal boy for the mining company.
“Wala po akong sapatos and ito ang magiging una kong original na shoes,” said Gases, who played with Taulava wearing only slippers.
For Taulava, he hopes that an act of kindness will make a world of difference for Gases.
“I hope it will push him to one day try to make it to college and hopefully make it to the professional league,” he said.
Apart from giving away his shoes, Taulava also distributed his warmer and NLEX shorts to the fans.
“They say, ‘You can’t have it all!’ It’s true, you have to spread the sunshine and try to make a difference for others … Happiness is not about possessing all of the things you want, it’s better sharing your blessings with others who are more in need,” said the many-time national cager.
After the game, Taulava said he got want he wanted and more.
“I got my cardio work out I need. And I was able to spend time with our PBA fans in the remote areas. If it’s memorable for them, it is more so for me.”