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    Life begins at 40 as Air 21 big man Asi Taulava catches second wind in PBA career

    May 6, 2014
    “I was telling my wife and coach Franz (Pumaren) how I wish I was more dedicated and more focused when I was younger,” says Air21 center Asi Taulava. Jerome Ascano

    VETERAN Asi Taulava is a man who's making up for lost time.

    Insisting he has no regrets, the Air21 big man knows it’s still not too late to push the re-start button as he and the Express make a dream run at the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship.

    “I was telling my wife and coach Franz (Pumaren) how I wish I was more dedicated and more focused when I was younger,” Taulava confided to Spin.ph, just before the team’s practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center.

    “Because my focus and dedication wasn’t there when I was younger. But now I try to start a new life at 40, try to achieve the things I didn’t achieve when I was younger, try to rewrite the story in my life,” he added.

    Thanks to a spartan regimen based on modern training techniques, the former league MVP and the Express are now a win away from getting past San Mig for a berth in the best-of-five Finals.

    He may be the oldest player in the league at 41, yet still the most reliable inside presence for a giant-killing Express team that stands on the verge of reaching the Finals for the first time.

    The do-or-die encounter with the Mixers is set on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with the winner advancing in the title series against unbeaten Talk 'N Text.

    “That’s (winning a championship) one thing I’m hungry about. That keeps me motivated, everyday when I step on the floor, but I still have that chance, and still have that inner drive,” said former league MVP.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Taulava continues to defy Father Time by averaging 17.0 points and 12.25 rebounds in 38.25 minutes in four games in the semifinals. And he insists he still has a lot left in the tank.

    After the Express levelled the semis series at 2-2 with their 94-91 win in Game Four, Taulava expects the deciding match to be a `dog fight.’

    “Tomorrow is gonna be a dog fight. I think San Mig took us for granted last night (Monday), since they won two games in a row,” he said.

    “They thought the series is probably over, thinking to play Talk ‘N Text tomorrow (Wednesday), but they forgot how we got to the semis,” he added.

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    “I was telling my wife and coach Franz (Pumaren) how I wish I was more dedicated and more focused when I was younger,” says Air21 center Asi Taulava. Jerome Ascano
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