Asi will power Meralco!

It’s inevitable. The moment the Powerade Tigers agreed to let Asi Taulava play for the Smart-Gilas squad, I knew it was just a matter of time for The Rock to return to the Piltel franchise.

Asi Taulava has been sent to the Meralco Bolts in a deal that also included Barako.

Admit it, with Taulava and Marcus Douthit filling the lane, the Team Pilipinas has the right tools to dismantle Hamed Haddadi, Rashiem Wright, and Fadi El-Khatib.

Time to throw your weight around, Rock!

Even if Douthit fails to play in the Asian Games, the team has a chance with Taulava in the middle. The team now has four players 6-8 and up with incoming Ateneo player Greg Slaughter and former pro Japeth Aguilar in their lineup. The SBP submitted their cast of 12 and it consists of Taulava, Aguilar, Slaughter, Kelly Williams, Chris Tiu, Mark Barroca, JV Casio, Mac Baracael, Dylan Ababou, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, and Aldrech Ramos. Smart-Gilas mentor Rajko Toroman has expressed his desire to change the lineup soon. Ramos, the FEU standout, will probably be laid off from the squad since he hasn’t really been suiting up during international meets. His spot will probably be given to Douthit after the American clears his naturalization papers. Lutz will also work his papers and if he can’t, his place would probably be reserved to a pro shooting guard. Lassiter is also in the hot seat after ditching the program momentarily to repair his knees. If Lutz and Lassiter can’t play, Toroman wishes Dondon Hontiveros, Mac Cardona, Gabe Norwood, and Sol Mercado could. If Lutz and Lassiter can play, expect Dylan Ababou and a shooting guard to slide to the reserve list.

If you ask me, what happened to Taulava is something the Rain or Shine management should look at. Once they lend Norwood and Mercado to Smart-Gilas, they have potentially leased them… forever. So I think Toroman can claim either Cardona or Hontiveros. For Cardona, this is also inevitable. He is a brilliant scorer although his shot selections should be limited as well as his shot frequency. As for Hontiveros, the Cebuano Hotshot isn’t that much of a void considering that San Miguel has a lot of players. This is also what Hontiveros should be wary because he is the only SMB player to still have a starting spot ever since the team went on a talent spree (Danny Seigle, Danny Ildefonso, Dorian Pena, and Olsen Racela are the others). The acquisition of Joseph Yeo and with Lordy Tugade still in rotation, Dondon could find himself playing only less than fifteen minutes when he comes back.

Taulava’s entry to the Bolts caused Meralco to ship out Jason Misolas and Khasim Mirza. Misolas a key contributor of the bench, is not a good trade bait but could be a good player to have in Barako Bull’s rotation. Mirza, the former UST inside-outside scorer, has the potential to create his own shot but he needs to check on his shot selections. Ken Bono will join Mirza and Misolas in Barako Bull. Bono will add size and height for the squad. Hopefully Bono can find the game critics once applauded.

As for Powerade, they managed to sneak Rob Reyes to their squad. While Reyes is not a big time name that Taulava is, he can give the squad a lot of hustle. Perhaps Reyes can develop his game to what many expected since they first saw him as a Harbour Centre Port Master a few years back. In addition, they also inherited Barako’s second round choice. While it seems like Powerade got the short end of the player stick, it seems like Bo Perasol has an idea how to transform this for his liking.

Asian counterparts need to worry with Asi Taulava as should PBA teams when he returns to Meralco.

The Rock made a move and it shocked the basketball world.

Game over.


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