Asi Taulava still sees a lot of positives in NLEX's heartbreaker of a loss to Talk 'N Text
NLEX's Asi Taulava and Rudy Lingganay try to stop Ivan Johnson as the Talk 'N Text import triest to make his way to the basket. Jerome Ascano

NLEX may have suffered a heartbreaking 98-96 loss to Talk ‘N Text in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday, but Asi Taulava would like to believe the loss gave a lot of positive to the team’s campaign.

The Road Warriors rallied back from a huge 29-point deficit behind a spirited fourth quarter comeback that only fell short when Talk ‘N Text gunner Jayson Castro nailed the game-winning 20-foot jumper at the buzzer.

“It was great to be down so big and see everyone fighting to come back because in the first half, it seemed like we couldn’t make any shot,” Taulava said after the game.

The 6-foot-9 evergreen big man credited the second group of Harold Arboleda, Rudy Lingganay, and Jonas Villanueva for leading the team’s big fourth-quarter comeback.

“This (comeback effort) is big because when we played Purefoods, usually when we get down like that, we get down and give up early,” he said, obviously referring to the Road Warriors’ 25-point blowout at the hands of the defending champions last week..

“Good thing our bench brought the energy back into us and gave us the chance and the hope to still pull it off.”

Villanueva, who scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half, said at the end of the day, everything boils down to effort.

“China-challenge kami ni coach nung halftime kasi ibang-iba yung effort namin nung first half compared sa second half,” he said.

“I think we can match up with other teams if we only put the effort because the system is there. Medyo inconsistent pa lang kami kasi may games na we’re good and may games na we’re bad,” added the former Far Eastern University playmaker.

At 1-4, NLEX is currently tied for 10th and 11th spots with expansion team Blackwater.


The Road Warriors will play the San Miguel Beermen next Tuesday, before taking on league-leader Meralco Bolts next Friday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava