PEOPLE close to Chris Tiu have the same thing in mind when speculation heightened that the popular Rain or Shine guard is set to end his PBA career.
Say it isn't so, Chris.
Just hours after Tiu fired the tweets that spawned the retirement talk, former Barako Bull assistant coach Charles Tiu said he doesn't think his brother has made up his mind about ending his PBA career.
“I don’t think he’s retiring already. His decision can change. Di siya sure na ‘no’, di siya sure na ‘yes’,” said Charles, adding his brother's tweet may just be his usual end-of-season thank you to fans, teammates and coaches.
“His tweet might be more for the season. Wala pa talaga siyang decision,” added the younger Tiu.
Tiu’s contract with Rain or Shine expires at the end of August and team governor Mert Mondragon bared that they are still hoping to renew his contract - atleast for one more season.
“Nag-usap kami ng mga team owners (Terry Que and Raymond Yu) and hoping nga sila na sana kahit one more season, lumaro pa ulit si Chris. Nanghihinayang talaga sila,” said Mondragon.
The soft-spoken Asian Coatings franchise legal head bared that even before the current season began, Tiu has already hinted on cutting short his PBA career because of his hectic schedule.
“Hirap na rin kasi sa schedule niya si Chris. Ang daming business nung bata tapos tumutulong pa siya sa business ng family nila,” he said. “Pero kakausapin ko pa siya.”
Mondragon claimed to only based his statements so far on the posts released by Tiu on his Twitter account.
But when told that Tiu routinely thanks Rain or Shine teammates, coaching staff and fans on his Tiwtter account after every conference, Mondragon saw a glimmer of hope.
“Ganun ba? E di maganda. Atleast may pagasa pa na mapilit natin siya na mag stay - kahit one season na lang,” he said.
Tiu, a popular personality who hosts TV shows not related to basketball, also owns the Happy Lemon food and drink chain as well as the internationally known French baker company Eric Kayser.
Aside from these, Tiu also owns other businesses and holds executive positions at family-owned companies Sterling bank and Discovery Suites.
Charles admitted his brother has a lot of his plate, business-wise.
“He has a lot of other things to do in terms of business. Marami siyang gustong gawin pa. He’s been playing basketball all his life. So right now, nothing is final yet as he’s still weighing his options,” he said.
Charles said his brother has every reason to stay in the PBA, saying, “He can still stay (in the PBA) kasi he’s still enjoying playing basketball pa. He enjoys playing for coach Yeng Guiao.”
“(But if ever he stays) I don’t see him staying in the league for a long time though, in case he stays ha,” he stressed. “Kasi he wants to pursue other things.”
Tiu’s closest friend at Rain or Shine and business partner, Ty Tang, told Spin.ph Chris has not mentioned any plan to retire from the pro league.
“Wala pa naman siyang binabanggit. Pero nasabi nga niya na he might not stay that long sa PBA. Pero yung magre-retire na siya now, wala pa. And I don’t think it will happen pa. Sa akin lang ha,” said Tang, whose wife Giza is a close friend of Tiu’s better half Clarisse.
“Wala naman akong nakita sa tweet niya na magre-retire na siya. Pero nakita ko nga na nagte-thank you siya sa mga fans at sa team. Lagi naman niya ginagawa yun,” he said.
Tang said Tiu has had an impressive season with Rain or Shine, pointing to the long minutes (he averaged 15.37 minutes as a part-time starter) his friend got from Guiao.
“Ang ganda ng playing time niya kay coach Yeng. And isa siya sa key players ng team. So I don’t think he’ll just abandon that,” he said.
“For me, parang yung question mo (if he’ll retire) hindi ko masasagot. Dahil wala talaga akong alam na magre-retiro siya,” added the former Dela Salle Green Archers star guard.
If his friend goes to him for advice, Tang is certain of an answer.
“I think it’s not yet time for him to retire. Pag nag-consult siya sa akin, that will be my friendly advice. I will tell him to check on his personal plans and caeer and family business. Pero tingin ko nga, it’s not yet time,” he added.
Tiu has yet to answer calls from Spin.ph and Rain or Shine officials have also been trying to get in touch with the former Gilas Pilipinas co-team captain.