The PBA’s ‘Ageless’ wonder

John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2020 - 12:00am

Inside the bubble

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY, Pampanga, Philippines — The writing’s on the wall but evergreen Asi Taulava’s retirement may not happen inside the bubble just yet.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to make that announcement yet but I think it is best that I sit down with coach Yeng (Guiao) and management (first). I’ll let you know if I’m going to hang up those sneakers already,” said the 47-year-old veteran, who entered the league in 1999.

Taulava, “AgelessAsi88” to his followers on social media, is the first player in Philippine basketball history to play in four different decades, highlighted by a PBA championship and an MVP, Finals MVP, Mythical, All-Defense and All-Star citations.

If that’s it for his 21-year career, he had a fitting swan song in the historic bubble with 11 points, four rebounds and three blocks, emerging as Player of the Game in a win against Terrafirma yesterday.

On his way to the dressing room, Taulava was surprised by his teammates, who gave him a bit of a shower.

Taulava may still be around for the next season – either as player or member of the coaching staff.

“Either is a win-win situation for me. I enjoyed the game and the journey continues after this,” smiled Taulava, also a member of the 40 PBA Greatest Players.

* * *

Members of the PBA entourage yielded negative results from their fourth cycle of mandatory swab testing.

Included in the testing were members of the four eliminated teams (NLEX, NorthPort, Blackwater, Terrafirma) for safety and clearance before coming home to their respective families.

The bubble remains intact with only eight teams left.

* * *

Joining NLEX on the way out of the bubble today are Terrafirma and Blackwater, which likewise failed to advance to the Philippine Cup quarterfinals starting tomorrow.

NorthPort has left the bubble last night after its last game against Meralco.

For these teams, the bubble was good while it lasted.

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