Asi Taulava showed he is still going strong at 43 as he continued to reap awards with another Mythical Second Team citation on Friday at the 2016 Leo Awards.
Taulava became the oldest player to be selected as part of the Mythical Team. He was previously named to four Mythical First Teams, including last season.
The NLEX center sees his latest achievement as a reward for the effort he has put in.
“I guess this past three years, all the hardwork I put in has really paid off,” he said. “With all the injuries I had this year, I wasn’t expecting this. Even though I was injured, I was still playing hard and I guess everybody still saw that.”
Taulava also appreciated the award more, knowing that not many players at his age still perform at the level he has been in.
“It means the world to me. When you get to 43, you appreciate it even more. In my age, not too many guys are getting the award, so I’m just so honored and blessed,” he said.
And Taulava isn’t stopping anytime soon as he sets his sight on a bigger goal with champion coach Yeng Guiao now calling the shots for NLEX.
“Now, we have a bigger challenge. We’re excited to play for him because he won so many championships. He knows how to push the buttons and get the players to play, especially with what he did to Rain or Shine,” he said.
“Every team he’s handled, he’s been able to win a championship for them. I got two years left with NLEX, so I’m looking forward to whatever he tells me to do. I’m gonna go out there and do it.”
Hiring Guiao is the easy part and it’s just a start to NLEX’s tough work ahead.
“He’s here with a purpose,” said Taulava. “He’s here to win. He’s a winner. He’s a coach that brings out the best in everybody and we want that.”
“We have to be willing to make the sacrifice if we want to win. Nevertheless, it’s going to be a rough season with a lot of adjustments and I think he’s going to bring a lot of different things to the team. It’s just up to us players now. We’re going to be the ones who are willing to adjust to meet him halfway.”