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NLEX activates Asi Taulava ahead of PBA Govs' Cup

At age 48, Asi Taulava is making a PBA comeback. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--"The Rock" is back!

NLEX announced on Sunday that it is bringing back veteran center Asi Taulava for the PBA Governors' Cup.

The 48-year-old former PBA and ABL Most Valuable Player would be the oldest player inserted into an active roster for the season-ending conference beginning on Wednesday.

Taulava, who spent the entire Philippine Cup at the sidelines after being relegated to the reserve list, will return for the Road Warriors at a time that they are somehow short on big men with two of them out for at least a foreseeable future.

Raul Soyud has just had a successful arthroscopic operation on his knee but is well on his way to recovery after finally joining non-contact drills.

Kris Porter, on the other hand, is undergoing therapy on his Achilles injury.

Taulava's return is timely as they will quickly take on June Mar Fajardo and the San Miguel Beermen on opening night.

“We felt the need to have him there because we’re lacking in size,” Coach Yeng Guiao said. “We need that extra big body out there, especially against June Mar Fajardo on Wednesday.”

Guiao, meanwhile, insisted that Taulava is in tiptop shape despite being well into the twilight of his colorful career which made him the only PBA player to see action in four different decades since being drafted by TNT in 1999 as a direct hire.

“For his age, he’s in tip-top shape,” added Guiao. “If he can hold his own for five, six minutes a game, that’s already a contribution.”

However, Guiao, also NLEX's team manager, hinted that this could be Taulava's swan song at least as a Road Warrior, and he wants the team to perform well in the Governors' Cup to give him a proper sendoff.

“If we do good this conference, I think it will serve as a fitting sendoff for Asi because he deserves such tribute,” added Guiao.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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