Ageless Asi Taulava seems to find the fountain of youth as he continues to show impressive numbers for Air21 in their semifinals encounter against two-time champion San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in the ongoing PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup.
With Taulava's reemergence, more and more teams showed interest in Taulava's service. Blackwater wants Taulava With expansion team Blackwater Sports still no available players in its line-up, they are now setting their eye on Taulava,whose contract with Air21 expires in August.
Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy admitted he he is scouting for players and disclosed that Taulava is one of his main priority. Taulava and the 7th seeded Express have pulled off the biggest upset of the season by ousting the second-seeded San Miguel Beermen and is battling with San Mig which is being tied at 1-1 in a best-of-five affair.
Blackwater wants to have a competitive line up when the expansion team debuts in the pro league next season which kicks off on October 19.
“He’s (Taulava) the best big man around. I think he can still give quality minutes against (San Miguel Beer center June Mar) Fajardo or (Ginebra’s Greg) Slaughter,” Sy told Spin.ph.
Sy, whose team is currently defending its PBA D-League Foundation Cup title, believes the 6-9 Taulava’s discipline and passion for the game make him the perfect franchise player for Blackwater.
“We believe he can be an asset and we can build our team around him. He’s a veteran and experienced already,” he added. Sy's relationship with Taulava
The Blackwater big boss said he doesn’t intend to engage Air21 in a “bidding war” when Taulava’s contract with the Express expires at the end of the season.
But the soft-spoken basketball patron said he is banking on his long-term relationship with Taulava who he brought to the country to play for his former club in the Vis-Min Cup of the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) back in 1997.
The relationship remains solid to this day, Sy added.
“Well, we don’t want to go into a bidding war (with Air21) but I’d like to think that we’re ahead when it comes to relationship because we invite him to our house, and he invites us to his house,” he said.
“His other daughter, my wife serves as her godmother. That’s where we are now, there’s closeness of a family. So if everything goes well, we hope to see Asi playing for us this October,” he added.
After his season-long stint with Blu, Taulava moved up to the PBA as a direct-hire player of Mobiline (now Talk ‘N Text), where he went on to lead the franchise to the 2003 All-Filipino title en route to being named the season’s Most Valuable Player. And if Sy will be able to lure Taulava, it will be a good stepping stone for the expansion team because they got a great leader in the Fil-Tongan. --- with reports from Spin.ph
Blackwater wants to pirate Asi Taulava from Air21
Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on