Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Asi Taulava remembers Bryan Gahol: ‘He was the original stretch big’

Remember Bryan Gahol?

It has been six years since the former PBA cager died in a car accident. But he has not been forgotten, especially by his contemporaries.

And count Asi Taulava in.

“Bryan was good,” the 47-year-old recalled in Saturday’s 2OT hosted by veteran broadcasters Carlo Pamintuan and Magoo Marjon.

Taulava figured in some battles against Gahol during the late 1990s, in the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL).

At that time, the Fil-Tongan center was among the league’s marquee names, alongside his then-rival Eric Menk.

But Gahol would actually top them both when he led Dr. J/ANA Water Dispenser to the 1998-99 2nd Centennial Cup championship.

Dr. J won the crown in five games at the expense of three-time PBL MVP Menk and Tanduay, which was looking to win a fifth straight PBL title.

“They won the championship. They beat Tanduay, I think, on the last conference before we all jumped to the PBA,” recalled Taulava.

But even before he became a PBL champion, the big man hailing from Los Banos, Laguna had already been a sought-after talent.

Gahol was part of the UP Fighting Maroons squad that reached the UAAP Final Four in 1997, the school’s last postseason appearance before 2018.

He was also a member of the RP Youth team that played in the 1995 Asian Youth Championship — now the FIBA Asia U18 Championship — in Manila.

Gahol then took his talents to the PBA in 1999 — along with Taulava and Menk — and was drafted fourth overall by Mobiline.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have much success in the pros. He played for three more teams — Alaska, San Miguel, and Red Bull — before retiring in 2006.

#ReadMore  PBA targets Dec. 15 or 18 finale for bubble season

Still, for Taulava, that doesn’t diminish Gahol’s talent. For him, the 6-foot-5 slotman was actually ahead of his time, skills-wise.

“He was versatile for his position. He was a five stuck in a four’s body,” said the 2003 PBA MVP. “He can shoot the Js, mid-range, step out for the threes.

“Before other bigs started shooting threes in the PBA, it was Bryan who was doing it first. And he was doing that in the amateur level. He made a name for himself.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

Tiebreaker Times Logo

You May Also Like

Basketball

Another championship, another individual accolade for Tim Cone. For steering Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to the Philippine Cup championship in the most challenging period...

Basketball

The man credited for the successful staging of the PBA Philippine Cup bubble will have his share of the limelight during the PBA Press...

Basketball

Despite the challenging times, PBA teams made sure to remain committed to their players and personnel as far as duties and obligations are concerned. ...

Basketball

The entire PBA staff will be recognized with a special citation in the Press Corps virtual Awards Night on Sunday at the TV5 Media...

Basketball

Justin Chua had a breakthrough campaign inside the PBA bubble. It did not go unnoticed as the Phoenix stalwart is set to receive his...

Basketball

RJ Jazul and the thrilling Philippine Cup bubble Game Five semifinals match between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco will have their share of the limelight...

Basketball

CJ Perez and Aaron Black lead the initial batch of players to be recognized in the PBA Press Corps virtual Awards Night on March...

Basketball

It will be a double event when the PBA Press Corps holds its virtual special Awards Night on March 7 at the TV5 Media...

Advertisement