Jericho Cruz all praises for 'Kuya Asi' ahead of jersey retirement

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Jericho Cruz all praises for 'Kuya Asi' ahead of jersey retirement
Asi Taulava
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- Jericho Cruz is happy to see the jersey of legend “Kuya Asi” Taulava retired by the NLEX Road Warriors, saying the iconic big man deserves it.

Cruz, who played with the six-foot-nine center for a few years as Road Warriors, was all praises for his former team captain.

The guard said he is passing the mentoring he received from Taulava a few years back to the young guys of the San Miguel Beermen.

“The simple mentoring that Kuya Asi gave me when we were together [is really big for me]. And as a student of the game, I am blessed to have him as a mentor during my time in NLEX,” Cruz told Philstar.com in Filipino after San Miguel’s 115-101 loss against the NorthPort Batang Pier Friday.

“So now, what I am doing is whatever wisdom he gave me, I am also imparting to the rookies and the young guys,” he added.

The Road Warriors, on Friday, said that they will be retiring the iconic No. 88 jersey of Taulava on Wednesday, during NLEX’s clash against the TNT Tropang Giga on Wednesday.

The bruising big man played eight seasons with NLEX.

The high-scoring guard, meanwhile, played from 2018 to 2022.

Lessons on winning and losing in basketball, along with off the court tidbits, were shared by Taulava to the younger players, Cruz said.

“I learned a lot from him, on and off the court. I learned a lot from the stories during his time,” he said.

The former Adamson Soaring Falcon also wished the Filipino-Tongan big man luck on the next chapter of his life.

“Whatever he does in the next chapter of his life, I wish him good luck. I wish him nothing but the best.”

Taulava won a championship in his 24-year PBA career. He was a 17-time All-Star, four-time Mythical Time member, four-time second Mythical Team member, the 2014 Comeback Player of the Year and a two-time scoring champion.

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