FORMER PBA player Chris Tiu paid tribute to Nic Jorge, saying he and other graduates of Milo BEST Center owe its founder a debt of gratitude.
Tiu was one of the prominent players who went through the pioneering basketball clinic which Jorge founded in 1979. Jorge died on Saturday of cardiac arrest. He was 78.
In Tiu's case, Best Center under Jorge taught him more than just dribble between his legs or execute a fundamentally correct jump shot.
"Through sports, you taught us how to deal with defeat, perseverance, discipline, humility, and many other values needed to face life," the former Ateneo star guard said in a post on Instagram. "For all of these, I am eternally grateful!"
Tiu, 34, who retired last year after a seven-year career with Rain or Shine, said Jorge's legacy in Philippine basketball is "oftentimes under-appreciated."
"He provided opportunities for young aspiring kids to compete at a high level, develop skills and most importantly fuel their love for the game - a huge contribution to Philippine basketball, which oftentimes is under-appreciated," he said.
"This, to me is Coach Nic Jorge’s greatest legacy."
Also paying tribute was former PBA coach Perry Ronquillo, who bared that he was part of the first batch of graduate of Jorge's basketball program.
"I belonged to the very first B.E.S.T class in 1978/79 when there were only about 20 students," the former PBA Coach of the Year said, "42 years later every team in the pros, college and high school has a BEST graduate.
"Philippine basketball owes you," Ronquillo added.