Forty-something Asi Taulava feels young again after highlight-reel dunk
“I was surprised myself,” says Asi Taulava of his vicious slam. Jaime Campos

ASI Taulava admits he can no longer jump as high as he used to.

But thanks to a little dose of inspiration from high-flying teammate Kwame Alexander, Taulava, 42, surprised even himself with a highlight-reel dunk in NLEX's 91-84 win over Meralco on Wednesday night.

Taulava played his best game in the two-week-old Governors Cup by tallying 20 points and 10 rebounds, highlighting his performance with a vicious throwdown against slam-dunk champ Rey Guevarra in the third quarter.

“I was surprised myself,” Taulava said, in recounting his rare dunk this season.

“I’m tired of guys blocking out. I just go ahead and throw it down,” the NLEX big man added, grinning.

Taulava said he has grown to admire Alexander’s aerial display during the dunk artist's first two games this conference, something that may have sparked something in him against the Bolts.

“Kwame is an animal. Sometimes, I watch Kwame when he jumps, effortless. And you start thinking about your younger days, but it was nothing compared to Kwame who makes it so easy,” the former MVP said.

At 1-2 (win-loss), Taulava admitted NLEX still has a lot to work on to reach the level of play the Road Warriors want to achieve this conference.

But the soft-spoken big man said they expect things to get better in the coming days, especially as Syrian import Michel Madanly is slated to return next Monday when they play KIA.

Madanly missed Wednesday’s game as he recover from neck spasm, which he sustained last week in a game against GlobalPort.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava