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    Taulava enjoys ‘final ride’ at NLEX as retirement finally beckons

    Ageless Asi savoring every minute of playing time
    Dec 18, 2021
    Asi Taulava NLEX vs Terrafirma
    Asi Taulava celebrates after knocking down a triple.
    PHOTO: Screenshot from ONE Sports coverage

    GIVEN one final shot at reliving his PBA career, evergreen Asi Taulava is simply enjoying every minute of it.

    Just like Saturday when the former MVP was given spare minutes to play in NLEX’s 116-85 rout of Terrafirma and stay on top of the Governors Cup with an unblemished record.

    Taulava, 48, suited up for just two minutes as he officially played in his 22nd season in the league after serving as the TNT franchise’s direct Fil-Am hire back in 1999.

    The Fil-Tongan made his brief appearance late in the game a notable one after hitting a three-pointer and adding two rebounds.

    Asi Taulava: final ride

    Taulava said that has been his mind set ever since being re-activated by NLEX prior to the start of the season-ending meet in what could be the final hurrah in his decorated albeit, controversy-filled career.

    “Final ride. Enjoy the ride now and enjoy every second of it especially with the team, my management, and the coaching staff,” said the veteran big man.


    Taulava was no longer lined up by the Road Warriors during the Philippine Cup in the recent Bacolor bubble, giving PBA fans a hint they may have seen the last of the Fil-Tongan center who took the league by storm more than two decades ago.

    But a wind of change suddenly happened prior to the season-ending meet.

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    “I was surprised. It started in the pre-season when coach asked me to show up in a tune up game, so I was like, ‘oh what’s going on here,’” Taulava recalled.

    True enough, the big man found himself joining the NLEX’s active roster just before the December 8 opener.


      While he accepts reality that playing time will be hard to come by, the mere fact that he was able to rejoin the Road Warriors was good enough for him to enjoy the moment.

      “I’m very grateful for this opportunity that I’m still with the team. It’s the latter part of my career and I know it’s getting ready to end,” said Taulava.

      Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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      Asi Taulava celebrates after knocking down a triple.
      PHOTO: Screenshot from ONE Sports coverage
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