THE Meralco Bolts are not yet keen on giving big man Asi Taulava his release papers yet.
A source within the team disclosed that Taulava, who left the Bolts to sign up with the San Miguel Beermen in the ABL, has long been trying to get a release order from the franchise to clear the way for his return and play in the PBA again.
But as per the current Uniform Players Contract (UPC), Taulava will be barred from playing for another team in the league unless the Bolts give him the green light.
“If they (Taulava camp) can work out something which is favorable to the Meralco franchise, puwedeng pag-usapan,” the source said.
“Pero hinihingi nila release, syempre we want to work out something.”
PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial also underscored the rights of Meralco on Taulava as per the UPC agreement.
“Hangga’t hindi siya nire-release ng Meralco, hindi siya pwede maglaro sa ibang PBA teams,” said Marcial.
Spin.ph also learned the two-year sit-out rule will not be applicable to the 6-foot-9 Taulava as he was reportedly offered a maximum contract extension by the Bolts, which he refused to sign.
When he turned 40 last March, Taulava was vocal enough to say his birthday wish is to play for the team he calls ‘favorite back in his amateur days.’
“That’s my ultimate dream (to play for Ginebra) and finish off my career with the team,” the 13-time All-Star and former league MVP said in an interview with Spin.ph.
While obviously already past his prime, Taulava has proven he can still be an effective player in the paint as shown in his stint with San Miguel in the Asean Basketball League.
With the Beermen in the ABL, Taulava is averaging solid numbers of 10.86 points, 7.36 rebounds, and 1.82 assists per game.
The need for the services of big men like Taulava will again be highlighted in the season-ending Governors Cup where a height-limit of 6-foot-6 has been set among imports.
The recently-concluded Commissioner’s Cup saw the hiring of imports with unlimited height, which momentarily addressed the need for a big man by most teams including Ginebra.