Lightning may have struck twice for Asi Taulava this season.
First, his name was not included in the PBA All-Star team this season despite a rejuvenated performance during the Philippine Cup.
Second, Taulava lost to Jason Castro of Talk ‘N Text in the race for the Best Player of the Commissioner’s Cup recently even though he played a big role in the Air21 Express’ remarkable Commissioner’s Cup playoff run that saw them finish a franchise-best fourth place.
The 6-9 Fil-Tongan bared to Spin.ph a few days ago that both these “losses” have since served as “coals” that fuel his desire to get better and help Air21 build on the franchise’s recent Final Four run and carry it to the season-ending Governors Cup.
For some people, Taulava may seem like the “biggest loser” after failing to get the recognition and make it to the All-Star roster and earn a Best Player of the Conference plum.
But in reality, the 41-year-old Taulava still has a golden chance of ending the season with a bang after climbing up from eighth (at the end of the Philippine Cup) to fourth spot in the race for the Most Valuable Player this season.
Honestly, it is hard to imagine a player still play at the top of his game at age 41. But this season, Taulava has shown that through strict discipline and laser-like focus, anything is possible.
To me, even though Taulava has yet to get the recognition he deserves for his contribution to his team and the league, his Spartan-like approach to the game at his age should serve as an inspiration to many young players today to take their professional basketball career seriously, while at the same time, serve as role models to the next generation of players.