14 June 2013

Meralco Open to Talks for Taulava’s Services

Asi Taulava
By Nelson Beltran
The Philippine Star, 14 June 2013

"Not for a song."

This was Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio's statement on speculations that Asi Taulava would be back in the PBA, probably with Barangay Ginebra, after a dream campaign with San Miguel Beer in the just concluded ABL fourth season.

"There are rumors he want to play with Ginebra. Asi himself is saying he loves to play for Ginebra. We'll not block Asi's return to the PBA. We'll not stop him to move over to Ginebra, but not for a song," Gregorio said.

"We're open to negotiate rights for Asi Taulava. But we'll not be the ones offering. We have the rights and we have the position of strength to say yes or no," Gregorio also said.

Even before the Beermen swept away the Indonesia Warriors to claim the ABL championship, talks were hot Tauvala would move over to Ginebra at the end of the 2013 ABL season.

However, though Taulava is with the SMC Group being the main cog of the SMBeermen in the ABL, his playing rights in the PBA remains with the Meralco Bolts.

"We perfectly understand his position, but talk to us. All we need is a transaction with equal value," said Gregorio. "Let's talk while the iron is hot at this point."

At 40, Taulava carved a scintillating ABL season, leading the Beermen to a dominant run all the way to the championship. He beat teammate Chris Banchero for the season MVP award.

He was with the Bolts before he decided to accept offer to play with the Beermen in the ABL.

"Kausapin naman niya kami. Iniwanan na nga niya kami at binigyan ng problema. Kung di sya umalis, baka may chance na kami to win a championship in our third year in the PBA. But he derailed our program," said Gregorio.

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