MERALCO just suffered a power shortage after veteran big man Asi Taulava declined the two-year contract extension offered to him by the franchise on Tuesday night.
Sheryl Reyes, the agent of the 2003 PBA MVP, made the announcement through the microblogging site Twitter. On her account@Female AgentSR, she tweeted: “We have officially declined Meralco offer for Asi. We would like to thank MVP Group for everything they have given him.”
The announcement just came hours after Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio sounded optimistic about the 6-foot-9 Fil-Tongan's return to the Bolts for the 38th season of the league starting on September 30.
Taulava appeared in Meralco’s practice game against Barako Bull Tuesday morning at the Meralco gym. He didn’t suit up, but sat on the team bench and cheered the Bolts, who won the match, 103-98, despite the lack of an intimidating presence inside.
“With Asi taking a rest, obviously, we struggled inside. He left a vacuum in the paint. But we’re excited because Asi already made a verbal commitment to play for us again this season,” Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio told Spin.ph shortly after the game.
Reyes however, was quick to refute that Taulava’s presence in the tune-up game doesn’t mean he has committed to signing the contract extension with the Bolts.
“Asi was there in the tune-up game to simply support Sol Mercado, but we’re still studying the options and looking at the details of the contract offered to Asi,” Reyes said.
By evening, Taulava made known his intention of not returning back to his team of the last two years.
“Thank you to all the Meralco fans of Asi for the past years we appreciate the support, keep supporting him in his next career path," Reyes tweeted.
“We will soon announce Asi's next career move ... Join us in our new journey,” Reyes tweeted.
According to the lady agent, Taulava’s other options outside Meralco include offers from three Asean Basketball League teams as well as from a club team in China’s pro league, Chinese Basketball Association.
This developed as Jay-R Reyes and rookie Clifford Hodge officially signed with the team Tuesday.