Rookie Draft: Tiu decides to join PBABy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE LAST pro hopeful may end up among the first picks.
Chris Tiu beat the deadline for the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft yesterday to become one of the oldest amateur players in recent years to sign up for the pro league.
The 27-year-old Tiu, the former captain of the Smart Gilas national team, joins a marquee list of aspirants that includes Cebuano star June Mar Fajardo, NCAA Most Valuable Player Calvin Abueva and Filipino-American Cliff Hodge.
“I realized that God has given us talents for a reason,” said Tiu. “There’s a purpose for it and it should be used the correct way and it should be shared with others. I feel if I just leave basketball, it would be thrown away and put to waste. And I don’t want that.”
Tiu had hoped to continue donning the the national colors, but the Smart Gilas program was discontinued.
Fajardo, though, looms as the top pick with Petron, which earned the right to pick first, already expressing interest for the mobile 6-foot-10 cager.
“They said if I joined last year I would have been No. 1,” said Tiu. “But for me the number is not important. It’s about going to the right team. You’ve had No. 1 picks who hadn’t been successful in their PBA career, but you had second-round draftees who made it big.”
Other prime prospects in the draft, set Aug. 19 at Robinsons Midtown Manila, are former PBA D-League MVP Vic Manuel, former national team player Aldrech Ramos, San Sebastian’s Ronald Pascual and Fil-Am Chris Ellis.