Asi Taulava says no regrets over suspension, vows to be a lot smarter next time
Big man Asi Taulava says he just had to be smarter the next time following his suspension over the slapping incident with David Semerad. Jaime Campos

ASI Taulava doesn’t regret the slapping incident he had with David Semerad that led to his suspension in NLEX’s big PBA Governors Cup game against Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday night.

Taulava said the slight fracas he had with the young San Miguel forward last Friday in the Road Warriors’ match against the Beermen was his way of protecting import Henry Walker, who was at the receiving end of a Semerad forearm.

The 43-year-old veteran reiterated shortly after the suspension he would not hesitate to come to the aid of teammates given the exact situation.

“Mi La Familia! Will always be there for you guys and I just have to be smarter the next time,” Taulava said in a post on his IG account @agelessasi88.

On top of the one-game suspension meted on him by the Office of the Commissioner a day before the Road Warriors’ showdown with the Kings, ‘The Rock’ was also fined P32,500, the bulk of which was for the flagrant foul 2 he committed for slapping Semerad shortly after the San Miguel stalwart was whistled for a foul against Walker.

[See Taulava suspension throws off NLEX]

Despite the short window between the suspension and the NLEX-Ginebra game, Taulava also maintained his highest respect to the office of league commissioner Chito Narvasa.

Taulava wasn’t summoned by Narvasa until Tuesday afternoon, or four days after following the incident.

“No hard feelings. I deserve my punishment from Comm Narvasa!,” said the one-time MVP. “I had a good talk with him yesterday (Tuesday) and I respect his decision!”

"I'm grateful Comm gave me a chance to explain my side and my reason," he said. "Let's move on and thank you for all your support! Ingat."

The Fil-Tongan added he’ll be watching the game at the comfort of his home where he’ll try to cheer the Road Warriors, currently tied with the Kings at 1-1 in the middle of the standings.

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“Yall got this and I will be cheering you guys on from home,” said Taulava, while adding the hashtags #OneTeamOneFa,bam ##MyBrothersKeeper #NLEX.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos