BEAU Belga paid tribute to his Rain or Shine teammate Chris Tiu, who, in Belga’s mind, will retire at the end of the current PBA season.
Belga said he is happy for Tiu, who on Saturday finished with 30 points in possibly his last game in an Elastopainters uniform. The seventh-pick overall in the 2012 draft, Tiu has not formally said that he will retire at the end of this year, but Belga said his teammate has already made up his mind about calling it a career.
“Masaya ako kasi unang-una, nanalo kami. It’s a good exit for him. Talagang desidido na siya mag-retire eh. Kahit bata pa, it’s a family call. Wala ka na magagawa,” said Belga.
Belga said Tiu is a consummate pro and knows how to relate with his teammates despite his status.
“Marami siyang na-contribute dahil hindi lang siya as a player eh, magaling din siyang makisama. Kahit na ‘rich kid,’ hindi maselan. Madali siyang lapitan. Kapag pinainom mo ‘yan, iinom ‘yan. Hindi mahirap pakisamahan. Very approachable,” Belga said.
Belga said there was no effort on Rain or Shine’s part to give Tiu a fitting swan song by eclipsing his previous career-high of 24 points as the Elastopainters played so well in the 107-101 win over the Road Warriors.
“Binibiro ko sila nung nakaraan, pagawain niyo si Chris ng kuwarenta (40 points). Natatalo lang na maayos game plan against NLEX and nag-benefit si Chris sa ganda ng nilaro. And siguro nag-enjoy dahil all-Filipino,” said Tiu.
Belga admitted Tiu will be hard to replaced as he has a lot of qualities that will be difficult to find.
“Kahit naman hindi ka handa (sa retirement ni Chris), wala ka na magagawa. We need to find a guy like Chris or better than Chris in the draft kasi he is a big part of the group. He is a good leader. Problema namin ngayon is kung may makikita kaming katulad niya,” Belga said.