AS big as he is, Asi Taulava’s words are bigger heading to his debut season in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
“Our mission is the ABL championship…and nothing less,” the new star acquisition of the San Miguel Beermen declared to Spin.ph.
The 6-foot-9 veteran center has been one of the major pieces brought in by the Beermen during the offseason after an inaugural campaign where the Philippine side fell a win short of a championship following their heartbreaking loss at home to the Indonesia Warriors in the decisive Game Three of the Finals last year.
And Taulava will have no less than fellow former PBA MVP Eric Menk for partner in what could be one of the most imposing frontcourt tandems in local basketball.
“Eric and I are here, and that should serve as a warning to other teams, especially Indonesia,” warned Taulava.
Reigning league MVP Leo Avenido leads the backcourt cast of San Miguel along with Fil-Am Chris Banchero and together make up the roster of the team along with former PBA cagers Paolo Hubalde, Axel Doruelo, RJ Rizada, and Bacon Austria.
Completing the lineup made up mostly of PBA players are Hans Thiele, Val Acuña, Mike Burstcher, and JR Cawaling.
Gabe Freeman, also a former PBA Best Import, and Brian Williams will reinforce the team now being handled by new coach Leo Austria. Williams will be arriving Monday in time for the team’s return to practice on January 2.
Aside from the Beermen and the Warriors, other teams competing in the fourth season of the ABL are the Chang Thailand Slammers, Westport Malaysia Dragons, Saigon Heat, and Singapore Slingers.
Pioneer member and inaugural season champions Air Asia Philippine Patriots have already pulled out of the league following the decision of team owner Mikee Romero to join the PBA.