ASI Taulava asked for a trade, talked to NLEX officials and coaches, then later decided to stay with the Road Warriors.
What transpired in between?
SPIN.ph sources bared that a frustrated Taulava wanted to be shipped to GlobalPort, where he can be reunited with his former coach at Air21 Express, Franz Pumaren.
Taulava sought a trade after being relegated to a third-string center under new NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, his averages consequently dropping from 13.86 points and 10.31 rebounds last season to 1.33 points and 2.67 rebounds while playing barely half of his usual 31.83 playing minutes.
Another source revealed NLEX informed the 43-year old cager that there weren't many takers and convinced him to stay put with the team, where he was promised a coaching career upon his retirement.
But another unimpeachable source told SPIN.ph Globalport was intent on getting the hard banging many-time national player, and had in fact offered Billy Mamaril, Karl Dehesa and a 2017 second round pick in a trade for Taulava.
“It was offered, but they didn’t respond. So I don’t think there was really no offer in the horizon. GlobalPort was willing,Taulava is still one of the best big men out there,” said the source.
Another source revealed Alaska and Mahindra were also willing to negotiate a possible trade for the former league MVP.
The 2003 MVP has only been used thrice this season so far by NLEX, so until when can Taulava keep his patience on the bench remains a mystery that only time can answer.
And in an era where the PBA is dominated by big men like June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, Taulava will remain hard to resist for other teams.
Incidentally, the two teams are squaring off on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations.