NLEX management has started holding informal talks with ageless slotman Asi Taulava in the hopes of locking the Fil-Tongan for another year or two in the PBA.
The 6-foot-9 Taulava, who turned 43 last March, remains a solid force in the paint for the Road Warriors.
Taulava in fact, posted import-like numbers of 15.67 points, 11.17 rebounds and 2.25 assists in over 33 minutes during the first 2 conferences this season.
His original 2-year contract worth P10 million with NLEX is set to expire this August and chances are, the “Rock” will be rewarded with another juicy deal.
“We’ve had informal talks with Asi a few times during this long break and continuous naman yung discussion namin regarding his contract (extension),” NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre told FOX Sports on Tuesday.
“And I don’t see any problem in our negotiation with Asi dahil admittedly, he’s done a lot of good things for the company, not just inside the court but even outside the court,” he added.
While Taulava is just one of 4 active players in his 1999 PBA batch, Dulatre said the many-time national player is a positive influence for the younger Road Warriors.
In fact, the soft-spoken NLEX official believes young players from the team can benefit greatly from Taulava’s rich, 17-year PBA experience.
“Si Asi, ganun na ang age niya, he’s very disciplined. We can probably extend him for a year or two, but again, gusto naming tingnan kung ay yung magiging win-win for both parties,” explained Dulatre.
On their part, Dulatre said management is already putting in the pieces to surround to Taulava and ensure the Fil-Tongan big man doesn’t have to do everything on his own.
Just 2 weeks back, NLEX boosted its stock by acquiring forward Mac Baracael and playmaker Eman Monfort after shipping rookie playmaker Simon Enciso, Mark Borboran and a future 2nd round pick to Phoenix. – By Richard Dy
Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava