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    Tiu faces balancing act as he seeks exposure for future Gilas stars

    Jan 17, 2020
    PHOTO: Fiba

    CHARLES Tiu would have wanted more young talent for his Mighty Sports team bound for the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

    "I could have had more, to be honest. I just didn't really know the plans of SBP," he said on Thursday.

    The lack of clarity on where the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will take the Gilas Pilipinas program was such a hurdle that Tiu knew he had no option but to make do with those who said yes to him.

    Yet he'll be frank to admit that his eyes were set on the likes of Kobe Paras, as well as Gilas pool members Isaac Go and Matt Nieto as potential members of Mighty.

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    "You look at a guy like Isaac, Matt Nieto, and Kobe Paras. I probably could have taken them, but klaro na lahat and the team was full and I didn't have enough spots," he said.

    Besides, Tiu is content with the haul he's had.

    Three-time UAAP Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena and 7-foot-2 wunderkind Kai Sotto banner the young talents in this Mighty crew, together with Dave Ildefonso and brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano - all of whom are part of the 24-man Gilas pool for the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.

    Tiu also acknowledged that with the wealth of youth his side possesses, it will be a challenge for him is to give everyone the due minutes.

    "It's gonna be hard, to be honest. I want to give guys the opportunity to play, but at the same time, I have to win this tournament," he said, aware of the tough balancing act he has to do in giving the young blood the international experience they crave for while also keeping the team competitive in search for a championship.

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    "So probably, it's just gonna have to be who plays best. They're gonna have to earn their minutes, even with Kai. As much as I want to give Kai all the minutes, he's playing alongside Andray (Blatche) and (Renaldo) Balkman who will be getting most of the minutes. So they'll really have to earn their keep."

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      Still, Tiu is happy to be in this position of having a boatload of talent, some of whom are believed to be the future torchbearers of Philippine basketball.

      "It's better to have more guys who can help than no players at all, so I'll take it right now," he said. "I'm in a situation where I'll probably get a lot of hate tweets from fans for not playing this player and that player, but that's part of the job. They just have to earn their minutes."

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      PHOTO: Fiba
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