NLEX evergreen center Asi Taulava plays down career rebounding milestone
Asi Taulava pulled down 11 boards in NLEX's 93-85 win over Barako Bull to hike his career total to 5,839, moving him past Philip Cezar to fifth place on the all-time rebounding list. Jerome Ascano

ASI Taulava played down his latest career milestone, stressing he is more focused on being on the driver’s seat of NLEX’s journey to respectability in the PBA.

The evergreen Road Warriors slotman pulled down 11 boards in the team's 93-85 win over Barako Bull to hike his career total to 5,839, moving him up to fifth on the all-time rebounding list past Philip Cezar.

“It feels great. It’s an honor, but I try not to think about it too much because I don’t want to get satisfied,” the 42-year-old Taulava said. "My focus is with NLEX right now.”

“I have a lot of work ahead of me,” he added. “Last (all-Filipino conference), I wasn’t too happy that we didn’t make the playoffs, so all the personal achievements that I’ve done, I have to put it aside and just keep my focus with NLEX,  trying to rack up as many wins as possible and hurry up and try to make the playoffs.”

But Taulava hopes it doesn’t stop in just making the postseason.

“Everything right now is trying to get NLEX deep into the playoffs and hopefully win a championship,” said the 16-year veteran, who tasted his first and only title with Talk ‘N Text in the 2003 all-Filipino conference.

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The Road Warriors are on the right track after putting up two straight wins for their best start in their young history.

“We’re a little bit experienced. It’s paying dividends,” Taulava said. “It feels good to start off two-zero than to start off o-and-two.”

Only when he finally calls it a career that he can savor his latest feat and the other awards that are definitely expected to come along the way.

“I’ll appreciate it more once I’m retired and I walk away from the game.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos