Tiu still undecided on pro careerBy Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
IT WAS an unsolicited advise to cager Chris Tiu, coming from a handful of selected sports scribes who attended the press briefing of his new program on AKTV as basketball ambassador.
Collectively, the group urged him to file an application for next season’s PBA draft, scheduled on Aug. 19 at Robinson’s Manila.
The former Blue Eagle was aware that he only has until the Aug. 2 deadline to do it.
At the time of the launch, Chris said he was still undecided. He only has one week to make up his mind.
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“Right now the possibility that I would join the draft is 55-45 percent,” Chris said.
He explained that he was hesitant to turn pro because the brand of play in the PBA has become “very rough and violent.”
Some of his former teammates, he said, have told him that they have now conditioned themselves not to withstand the demands of the game but to protect themselves from getting seriously hurt.
“In the NBA, the games are also highly physical, but there’s a difference between being physical and being rough. The players don’t end up with shortened careers,” he said.
If he had his choice, Chris said he would rather play for the national team for a few more years.
He didn’t say it out but Chris must have been crestfallen when he was informed that he was no longer part of the Philippine team that was formed by new Smart Gilas head coach Chot Reyes, who replaced Serbian Rajko Toroman.
He was invited to join the cadet squad or Team B, but Chris politely declined. It was a demotion.
“It was obvious they didn’t need me anymore. I played three years for the elite Smart Gilas team under coach Toroman and was even appointed team captain.”
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Chris is 27 and doesn’t need to play basketball to earn a living. It’s just a passion. Putting it mildly, he belongs to an opulent family that owns a bank and a five-star hotel, among other business interests.
Chris himself is a small business entrepreneur who has made several investments. He has countless advocacies, among them the crusade against cervical cancer, and he is one of the most sought-after product endorsers obviously because of his wholesome image.
“I have 20 endorsements in all,” Chris said. He may have eclipsed the record of no less than the People’s champ, Manny Pacquiao.
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Yesterday afternoon, I called Chris to ask if he has made a decision on his joining the PBA draft. He said it was 60-40.
I figured the members of the Tiu family have yet to discuss the matter. Chris said he would need the nod of the family before he can make a decision on an important issue such as joining the PBA.
We listened intently as he told us that for him, joining the PBA is “now or never” considering that he is 27, “although I feel only 22.”
Again we urged him to run to the PBA office in Libis while there’s still time. Otherwise he’ll keep wondering for the rest of his life how he would have fared had be joined the pros.
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