NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez was hoping the PBA’s decision to suspend Asi Taulava came earlier so the Road Warriors could’ve prepared better for their Governors’ Cup match against Ginebra on Wednesday.
The PBA announced Taulava’s suspension on Tuesday, four days after the NLEX star slotman had an incident with San Miguel Beer big man David Semerad that triggered the ban.
“It's the decision of the PBA so we just have to abide by that, but we played Wednesday so the suspension should've come on Saturday or Sunday since nandoon naman kami,” Fernandez said after the Road Warriors’ 85-72 loss to the Gin Kings.
“I'm happy also that commissioner has given Asi a chance to explain his side, but eventually the suspension was there at wala na tayong magagawa doon,” he added.
Fernandez initially felt his team, with Taulava in tow, had an edge against a Gin Kings that was missing its top big man in Greg Slaughter and had to lean heavily on replacement import Justin Brownlee.
“They don't have Slaughter and they only have Brownlee so we thought we have the advantage with Asi, but eventually tinanggal na namin yon kasi wala nga si Asi,” Fernandez said. “Nawala rin post threat namin kaya medyo na-caught off guard kami pero we were in the game and it was just a matter of us grinding it out until the end of the ball game.”
But it seems NLEX is moving on after its appeal on Taulava’s suspension was denied.
“We tried naman (to make an appeal),” team manager Ronald Dulatre said. “We just asked the commissioner to review Asi’s valid side. He was there to protect his teammates and history on the part of Asi, hindi naman siya nag-iinstigate eh.”
Asked if the PBA was just forced to make a decision after suspending Calvin Abueva earlier in the day, Dulatre doesn’t think so.
“Hindi naman. Baka nauna lang lumabas yung verdict kay Calvin,” the NLEX official said. “But we don’t want to dwell on that (anymore).”