IT’S better late than never for a man who knows how to keep his word.
Asi Taulava arrived halfway through the two-hour Gilas Pilipinas practice on Friday night at Meralco Gym, probably a rare occurrence for the ever-professional cager.
But it was understandable as the PBA star was coming from a delayed flight from Tacloban where he graced an outreach program and inauguration of covered courts with Nickel Asia at Manicani Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar earlier in the day.
It was a previous commitment that Taulava had agreed to do long before he was picked to join the Gilas pool.
“I wasn’t expecting to make it to the pool, so I was okay to all my guesting,” said Taulava.
He took a one-hour flight to Tacloban at 4:30 a.m. then expected to make it back on time at the start of practice, only for his return trip originally scheduled at 5 p.m. to be delayed for almost two hours.
In between, he took a four-hour drive to Guiuan, Samar and a one-hour boat ride to Manicani to grace the inauguration of the island's first covered court then left for Tacloban at 1 p.m. to catch the 5 p.m. flight back to Manila.
“It was kind of my fault, too. You can’t do anything with flights that are delayed,” the 42-year-old NLEX slotman said. “I’m just happy to make it back and keep my promise to coach.”
Good thing Manila traffic surprisingly cooperated.
“The traffic wasn’t that bad for a Friday night,” Taulava said.
Despite being late, he was on time for a few drills and the team’s first real scrimmage since Baldwin started camp.
“I was hoping practice was almost done, but I guess they saved the best for last,” he said, laughing.
“I’m going to enjoy my sleep tonight,” smiled Taulava, who hasn’t slept for over a day.