Henry Walker grateful to Asi Taulava for standing up for him during Semerad scrap
Asi Taulava gets into a shoving match with Anthony Semerad. Jaime Campos

HENRY Walker owes veteran teammate Asi Taulava dinner.

The 43-year-old Taulava was quick to come to the import’s defense during a physical sequence in the PBA Governors Cup game between NLEX and defending champion San Miguel Friday night in which Henry was hit in the face by Beerman David Semerad late in the third quarter.

Taulava immediately confronted Semerad following the play, leading to a shoving match that resulted in technical fouls for the two protagonists.

Walker definitely was grateful to know Taulava will be there and always had his back.

“I’m thankful that I’ve got somebody on my team that would stand up for me,” said Walker, talking just beside Taulava who was close enough to hear.

“I’m just glad he stood up for me. I appreciate it, man.”

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The two was the last men to emerge from the NLEX dugout following the sorry loss that saw the team blew up a five-point lead in the last 33 seconds. Walker said they spent more than an hour in the dressing room just talking with each other, proof how the two of them had easily bonded together in the so short a time the former Miami Heat has been with the Road Warriors.

And to think, Walker and Asi hate each other the first time the import had his first tour of duty here with Alaska in 2014.

“We hate each other then,” recalled Taulava with a poker face.

“Thankful he’s on my team,” said Walker of the former league MVP.

The native of West Virginia admitted he’s always been at the receiving end of physical plays like the one he got from Semerad, even during his stint with the Aces.

“I’m here in the Philippines, I got history of guys trying to get super physical on me. I don’t know why,” he said.

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“I think you know what happened. By the time I got around, there’s technical everywhere,” he said of the fouls meted on Taulava, Semerad, and another one on NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre.

Ribbed about him treating Taulava to a dinner, Walker was quick to say yes for an answer.

“Yeah, definitely (because) I have to pay his fine,” the import said with a laugh.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos