SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – Asi Taulava will wait until after a meeting with management of NLEX before making a decision on whether to retire or continue to serve as one of the senior leaders of the Road Warriors by next season.
Taulava said his next career move will depend on what’s going to transpire during the talk, although he acknowledged that coach Yeng Guiao is going to have a big say on where his career will he headed.
“I don’t want to make that announcement. It’s best that I sit down with coach Yeng and management and then adopt what goes on from there. Right now I don’t want to say anything,” said Taulava amid mounting speculations he's set for retirement after the Road Warriors were booted out of the race for the playoffs of the PBA Philippine Cup.
If it was his farewell game in the league, Taulava, 47, still made a decent impression in NLEX’s 127-101 rout of Terrafirma Wednesday in the final day of the eliminations at the Angeles University Foundation gym.
The 2003 MVP tallied 11 points on 2-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point arc to go with four rebounds, and two assists in his final game in the bubble.
Coach Yeng Guiao later said in the post-game presser that as per his last talk with Taulava, the game was supposed to be his last in the PBA.
But the 6-foot-9 man-mountain is leaving everything hanging in the balance as his contract is set to expire by the end of the year.
“I’m not gonna say (if) I’m still gonna play or retire,” he said afterwards. “It’s best that I sit down with coach Yeng. He knows what’s best for me at this time, to walk away or coaching, that’s fun, too.
“But either way, it’s a win-win situation for me. I enjoyed the game, I enjoyed playing with the guys. The journey continues on after this.”
Taulava, a four-time Mythical First Team and 17-time All-Star, said he’s still enjoying playing pro ball, especially being around the Road Warriors’ young guys.
“It’s been fun, being here every day and doing the grind with the young guys. It makes me feel young,” he said.
And the opportunity of still being around and becoming the first player in PBA history to suit up in four different decades wouldn’t be possible without the support NLEX management has extended to him, according to Asi.
“I got to thank coach Yeng, Boss Rod (Franco), Boss MVP, Boss Ronald (Dulatre), and everybody that’s been very supportive throughout my whole career,” said Taulava, one of the 40 Greatest Players in league history.