Jun 27, 2020

Coaching a priority for Asi once PBA career is over

VETERAN Asi Taulava sees himself branching out into coaching once his PBA playing career is over.

The NLEX big man actually has began planting the seed with his job as deputy coach of the University of the Philippines women's basketball team, where his daughter Ash Taulava is currently playing.

The 47-year-old Taulava serves as one of the assistants of coach Paul Ramos.

"I have one leg in. I've already stuck one of my foot to the door," said the former league MVP.

Taulava admitted he's still learning the ropes of coaching and is getting a lot of help from the UP staff led by Ramos, who's slowly trying to build a solid program for the women's Fighting Maroons.

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"I have a good coach ahead of me. I want to thank coach Paul (Ramos) for giving me that opportunity," said Asi.

He also gets a lot of help from NLEX coach Yeng Guiao and former Blu Detergent teammate Patrick Aquino, the most successful women's coach in the country who turned the National University Lady Bulldogs team into a basketball power.

"I always ask for advice. I want to understand the women's game of basketball a little bit more. It happened to him (Aquino), and he just learned from experience," said Taulava of Aquino, who is also head coach of the Philippine women's team.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Taulava would be going to UP's practice on a regular basis to help train the team.

But with the community quarantine now on its third month, Taulava spent most of the long-break teaching Ash and his other kids to stay in shape.

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"May daughters, from 6:00 to 7:30 in the evening, they have skills work with me," he said. "It's challenging to be a dad and a coach at the same time.

"I love the game, and at the same time, I'll be teaching. All this stuff I have in my head, I want to teach."

Of course, that's getting too far ahead of the story.

Taulava has yet to formally retire and is still looking to play his 21st season in the league once the season resumes.(RG)