With Asi around, NLEX not keen to take advantage of import unlimited height luxury
NLEX is trusting Asi Taulava can defend well against rival teams' foreign reinforcement. Jaime Campos

INSTEAD of taking advantage of the unlimited height privilege, NLEX looks keen on picking a versatile big man over a dedicated slotman as its import for the Commissioner’s Cup.

The Road Warriors are not bound by the 6-foot-9 cap for imports in the second conference since they finished out of the top eight in the opening tournament. But instead of trying to find a giant to man the paint, they are looking to bring in someone who can play multiple positions and pair with Asi Taulava in the shaded lane.

“May dalawa na lang kaming natitira sa listahan namin na pag-uusapan na lang namin sa management, kasi gusto namin, yung magko-complement kay Asi, yung versatile na kaya maglaro ng three, four or five positions,” NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre told Spin.ph on Thursday.

Dulatre explained that the 42-year-old Taulava has been a dependable force in the paint despite his age, which is why they have decided to bring in someone, who can be a do-it-all type of reinforcement.

“Kasi sa ngayon, si Mark Borboran lang ang wingman namin na puwedeng mag-defend. If we will get a seven-footer, ang problem namin is sino ang magde-defend sa 6-9 or below na imports ng walong teams dahil baka di ganun ka-bilis,” he added.

“At least, may Asi na kami na puwedeng magbantay.”

It's a different case for Kia, which won just one of 11 games and is now tapping a 7-foot-3 reinforcement.

[See Tired of being a PBA punching bag, Pacquiao's Kia team set to sign 7-3 Puerto Rican as import]

The Road Warriors made an early exit from the Philippine Cup when they bowed to Alaska Aces in the initial phase of the playoffs, 82-78.

NLEX compiled an overall 4-8 win-loss record during its maiden conference in the PBA to finish at 10th place.

Dulatre declined to name the team’s two prospects, though they intend to make a decision within the week on who to sign.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava