Dave Regullano may have been the last Filipino basketball player to sport a non-white pair of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers- until now.
On Friday night in front of a jampacked crowd at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, Asi Taulava unleashed his own version of a throwback – a low-cut, blue jeans color of Chuck Taylors – which instantly became a hit with the fans who cheered on the oldest player in the league.
It was a ploy intended to change the fortune of NLEX, which had lost its last three games but found itself back on the winning track by subduing winless Blackwater Elite behind the big game of the man called as “The Rock.”
Taulava finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, barely having any trouble playing with his cheap yet comfortable shoes.
“I don’t have trouble wearing all kinds of shoes. I’m used to being barefooted or wearing slippers,” said Taulava during the post game interview. “What I’m saying is, you don’t need to have expensive shoes just to play in the PBA.”
For Taulava, wearing shoes that are cheap is the best way to represent the fans, particularly those who usually cheer for Ginebra. So the 41-year-old veteran center wasn’t surprised when the Gin Kings diehards cheered him on. “This pair of shoes represents them,” he added.
With NLEX snapping its three-game skid, Taulava plans to wear the throwback sneakers again. But Taulava is not only thinking about bringing his retro shoes back- he wants to pair it with vintage short shorts and a small jersey, something which he has thought about wearing since making his return to the PBA.
“I think it was long overdue. I want my small jersey and short shorts. Now I have the shoes, it will be perfect,” he said.
Photo courtesy of Nuki Sabio of PBA Images