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Fernandez on Taulava: ‘He’s the last guy to leave practice’

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Asi Taulava won his first PBA Most Valuable Player trophy in 2003. A dozen years after, he is still a solid contender to win another.

NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez has been a proud witness to Taulava’s tireless work ethic, saying the 42-year-old veteran empowers the Road Warriors with his attitude right from the start of practice.

“You don’t need to motivate Asi,” Fernandez said after NLEX defeated Meralco, 93-91. “He even comes in earlier than the other guys in practice and he is the last guy to leave practice because he will take extra shots.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Fernandez on Taulava: 'He's the last guy to leave practice'    “This attitude carries over with the younger guys. If our veteran came in early and did weights and practiced hard, at least kung nagagawa niya yun pwede rin namin gawin.”

The evergreen Taulava tallied a 22-point, 21-rebound effort against the Bolts, showing why he is still a force in the league. With more than enough left in his grizzled tank, Taulava has averaged 20 PPG and 14 RPG in the conference so far.

Fernandez is, in fact, having trouble managing Taulava’s workload during training sessions, saying the center just keeps pushing himself.

“We try to manage Asi in our practices. We really try to manage his playing time in practice so we can preserve him,” Fernandez shared.

Always selfless and always a role model to his younger teammates, Taulava keeps NLEX motivated, and this impeccable professionalism is what’s keeping him going in the league despite a constant battle with Father Time.

“You cannot stop Asi in terms of practice. But I told in the long run weneed him so we just try to manage his practice.”

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