I'm not posting this for Asi Taulava nor for the Team Pilipinas. But I'm rooting for them to advance for the World Championship and I'm posting before the FIBA Asia Quarterfinals begin.
Asi Taulava played the Center position for the RP5 Powerade Team-Pilipinas. I believe it is his 3rd time to join the Team Philippines. He's the tallest among cagers. He's the biggest too. At 6'9 he can not match the opponent's center standing 7 foot and above. But he's the veteran in the lineup.
He will not put the 20-10 on the scorer's table, not because he's not getting any younger at 36 yrs old but because he played team basketball. He will not shoot the classic fade away jump shot that will send the crowd and his teammates into frenzy. He's not versatile big man that has a touch on the three point lane. Or make riduculous summersault layup and breath taking dunk - in his size that's unimaginable.
What does he bring in the International competition? He's leadership. At his bulky size he can put the team on his shoulder. How Ironic? He's been there twice. He see's all the mistakes that have happened on his own and he learned it - but not the hard way. He knows the International rules. The in-and-out of the defense and offense playing under International rule. They can banged bodies. Hand-checking foul was not a foul. He also knows most of his rivals, China, Iran, Jordan, Korea. He knows who's the gunner and maybe who's not.
He see what kind of play that will make a team win in FIBA.
He's showing how hard he played against taller opponent to the younger generation who might played for the same competition. Showing the Straight-up defense. He's showing the importance of defense and not relying too much on offense, makes you frustrated, to beat a team. One-on-one in offense can't make a team succesful. He sacrificed a lot to play for the country for the third time, but I can't tell how much.
Coach Yeng, albeit it always the coach who gets the blamed when the team lost, let Asi took the floor while he is inside the game. It might work.
Again Asi you are 36 yrs old and it might your last FIBA appearance, so why not go FTW.