Taulava excited to play alongside Abueva in Gilas pool
Competing in the international stage is nothing new to Asi Taulava, who has been part of several Philippine teams throughout his career.
Getting called up for another stint with the national team, the 42-year-old Taulava doesn’t need to make a lot of adjustments as far as the international game goes.
What Taulava needs to get used to, though, is playing alongside Alaska forward Calvin Abueva—something that the ageless big man is looking forward to.
“My goodness. Thank God I’m finally playing with Calvin,” Taulava told reporters. “That guy has a motor. He doesn’t stand still. I don’t have to look over my shoulders like where’s Calvin. Now I got Calvin on my team and I’m like ‘go get it Calvin.’”
Abueva is one of those players who some hate to play against but love to play with due to his relentlessness and knack for pestering opponents with his rugged style of play.
Taulava considers being able to play with Abueva and the younger guys in the PBA part of the pool a “blessing.”
“It’s a blessing to be teammates with these kind of guys especially they’re the future of the PBA, and the good thing about it is you can see their attitude. Nobody’s having an attitude. Everybody is trying to fit in,” he said.
“Everybody’s trying to learn coach Tab’s system. The level is so high when we practice, coach sometimes tells us to take it easy.”
As one of the leaders of the team, Taulava understands how to win. And for the newest batch of Gilas to continue the success of the previous team, Taulava said the players have to set aside their egos and work with each other.
“There’s got to be chemistry and character. Everybody has to come together and it makes it easier for the younger guys if you see the veterans talking, moving around, sharing the ball and having the work ethic,” he said. “You don’t have to have a superstar mentality, you don’t need that here.”
And like the young players on the team who are relishing their first time to be part of Gilas, Taulava is still thankful to get another opportunity to serve the country.
“It’s a privilege and an honor especially at my age to be given a chance again to be part of the pool.” CFC
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