PLAYING outside of the league where he carved his name as one of the its most dominant big men, Asi Taulava confessed he’s still trying to adapt to life on the road while playing in the Asean Basketball League.
Playing away from home for half of the season is definitely a new experience for the former PBA MVP. And then, there are the different rules and regulations players have to get accustomed to while playing in a foreign country.
“It’s very different,” said San Miguel Beer's prized recruit when asked to compare the PBA and ABL.
“There (ABL) we play home-and-away games which makes it difficult. And other countries have their rules, that’s why you have to control your temper because if you don’t, you have to pay a very hefty fine.”
The 6-foot-9 Taulava has played in eight games so far with the 5-3 Beermen, whom he helped power to their first back-to-back wins after drubbing the visiting Westports Malaysia Dragons, 77-66, at the Ynares Sports Arena on the day he celebrated his 40th birthday last March 2.
Asi said the transition has so far been good for him.
“I’m doing good (in the ABL). We started up and down, but now we are 2-0 in the past two games. And our win (on Saturday) is my present for myself,” said Taulava who played in the PBA from 1999 to 2012 in a 13-year stint that saw him suiting up for teams Talk `N Text, Powerade, and Meralco.
But he sure misses the happenings in the PBA.
“Of course, I do miss playing in the PBA,” he said in a chance interview with Spin.ph while watching the Rain or Shine-Ginebra game on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s where my career started, although my focus now is on the ABL.”
The former national team player is not discounting the possibility of returning to Asia’s pioneering pro league once his ABL stint is over.
“After ABL, I have to sit down and re-assess everything and we’ll see,” the big man said. “It will still be up to me if I will be going back to the PBA. After this I have to decide what will be my next step.”