27 October 2010

Aging Taulava's Sacrifice

Asi Taulava
Rey Joble
GMANews.TV, 25 October 2010

It's not easy to practice twice a day almost every day for two different teams.

Especially for a 37-year-old body.

But Asi Taulava knows the price of making the ultimate sacrifice — as in playing for flag and country.

"Somebody has to do it and if it's me, then it's an honor and privilege playing for flag and country again, even if it means having to attend twice-a-day practices," Taulava told GMANews.TV.

The 6-foot-9 Fil-Tongan has been faithfully honoring his commitments to both the Meralco Bolts and RP-Smart Gilas.

Taulava practices daily with the Bolts — his mother team in the PBA — and attends the training sessions of the RP-Smart Gilas national developmental team at night.

The 2003 PBA Most Valuable Player is one of the three pro players loaned to the RP-Smart Gilas squad for the upcoming Asian Games. Other PBA players tapped to beef up the team were former MVP Kelly Williams of Talk N Text and Sol Mercado of Rain or Shine.

A many-time national team member, Taulava knows the twice-a-day practice has certainly taken its toll on him.

"I've lost 20 or 30 pounds, but on the other hand, it keeps me in great shape and I feel good about it as I want to help my team, Meralco in the PBA, and the RP- Smart Gilas squad in the Asian Games," said Taulava.

Taulava isn't the only one who has noticed the effect of the doubled practice sessions.

"Asi is a tired man. He's been practicing twice a day and it's not easy considering the fact that he doesn't have the youthful legs anymore," said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio. "But I told him to challenge his excuses."

There were even times when Taulava seemed to get confused when the Bolts would run plays for him.

"The coaches would tell me that this is Meralco and we're not running Gilas' plays. I just told them, so what, it’s under one company," said Taulava in jest. - KY, GMANews.TV

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