NLEX is not about to fall into the same trap that cost Meralco a top player in Jared Dillinger.
The Road Warriors relegated veteran big man Asi Taulava to the unrestricted free agent list with rights to salary (UFAWR2S), but struck an understanding with the one-time PBA MVP that he won’t be signing with any other team.
“May usapan na yan. Pinapaayos lang namin yung tuhod niya,” said a team insider who’s privy to the agreement reached by the two parties.
The deal brought to mind a similar incident that happened between Meralco and Dillinger earlier in the season when the Fil-Am guard surprisingly accepted the offer of Barangay Ginebra which picked him up from the unrestricted free agent list.
The Bolts claimed they put the 35-year-old Dillinger in the list following a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that he won’t be signing with any other team.
The 46-year-old Taulava has yet to see action for the Road Warriors in the season-ending Governors Cup due to a knee injury.
But with starting center Poy Erram later relegated in the injury/reserved list, the team decided to reactivate instead Papot Paredes and made Taulava an unrestricted free agent.
Proof that the 6-foot-9 Taulava remains very much a part of the NLEX family, he travelled with the team in Dubai for back-to-back games against San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra over the weekend.
NLEX, however, was quick to change its mind.
The team reactivated Taulava in lieu of Paredes going to the Road Warriors’ game against the Beermen in a battle between unbeaten teams in Dubai.
Unbeaten so far in three games, the Road Warriors battle the 2-0 Beermen early Saturday morning (Manila time) at the newly-built Coca-Cola Arena, before returning to the court less than 24 hours later to take on the Kings (1-1).