Asi Taulava given two weeks off, but NLEX coach knows he won't rest for that long
Asi Taulava arrived with the Gilas team on Monday afternoon. Photo from Fiba.com

NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez has given Asi Taulava a rest period of as long as two weeks to recover from a grueling grind with Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Asia Championship.

But Fernandez knows the evergreen slotman, who arrived from China on Monday noon, won’t stay away from practice that long.

“Alam mo naman si Asi, hindi magpapahinga yan,” Fernandez told Spin.ph on Tuesday after the Road Warriors’ tune-up game against Star at Ronac gym.  “Kung ako, one week to two weeks depending on his condition.”

“Poprotektahan din namin siya kasi baka ma-injure 'pag pinuwersa yung sarili niya,” he added.

Even though Taulava didn’t see action in the national team’s last three games in the Olympic qualifying tournament, Fernandez stressed his 42-year-old center needs to rest.

“Nagpa-practice pa rin sila (in between games) eh,” Fernandez said. “Tapos siya pa yung number one cheerer sa bench, so talagang exhausted si Asi for sure. Kailangan nung tao ng pahinga.”

“I’ll give Asi that option kung kailan niya gusto bumalik or if he wants to go back right away,” he added.

“We’ll check with our PTs kung ano recommendation nila.”

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The Road Warriors also missed another big man in the friendly against the Hotshots as Enrico Villanueva was out with a sprained right ankle.

“Therapy muna siya,” Fernandez said ahead of NLEX’s opening game in the PBA on October 23 against Blackwater. “We’re trying to manage para pag dating ng 23, medyo kumpleto kami.”

“Kung wala si Enrico at Asi, magkakaroon ako ng problema sa ilalim.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos