THE PBA draft beckons and for Chris Tiu, it’s now or never.
“I think if I don’t join this year, that’s it, no more basketball,” said Tiu on Wednesday night, adding that he will make the decision on whether to join the draft or become a businessman full time by Wednesday next week. The deadline for application for the draft is on August 3, two days after Tiu’s D-day.
Now 27, the amateur basketball star believes it is his last chance to turn pro.
“Because I believe at this age now, it’s the time that I’m gonna make the important decisions and the mistakes that will allow me to learn for the future,” said Tiu.
"I just pray, and pray, and pray. Pray for me that I make the right judgment."
Tiu noted he is “60 percent” leaning towards choosing basketball, but is concerned he will fall behind his peers in the business sector.
“I don’t want to be left behind in that field of business. The learning and experience compared to my batchmates at Ateneo, who've been working for several years already… several years doing business,” Tiu noted.
“I wanna start early… I’m doing it now, but of course it’s different when you’re part-timing and when you’re really immersed in it,” said Tiu, who earned degrees in Bachelor of Science in Management Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics at Ateneo and has been involved in several businesses in the food and beverage sector.
At the same time, Tiu feels the chance to turn pro has presented itself again several years after shunning the PBA draft to concentrate on the amateurs. Major changes in the national basketball program have recently kept the former Gilas captain out of basketball.
Now the pro league beckons.
“I’m able to rest for half a year, focus more on businesses, my advocacies, some endorsements, TV work as well,” Tiu said. “Now here it comes again, cycle, umikot na naman, PBA draft.
“I think it’s now or never.”
Tiu knows this year’s draft pool is brimming with talent, much younger ones at that, but he isn’t concerned with getting picked late.
“The number’s not important, ang importante mapunta ka sa team na gagamitin ka, a team that needs you,” said Tiu.
“As a player naman you can adjust to the different systems of coaches. So as long as I’m given the opportunity to play, given the minutes on court… of course you have to earn that… I’m okay with it.”
If he doesn’t enlist in the draft, it’s not entirely zero basketball for Tiu. The veteran internationalist helps develop basketball in the grassroots level and has recently started taping an instructional segment on TV5 called 1-on1 Tiu-torials, which will air on AKTV on IBC 13.
The 1-on-1 Tiu-torials bring basketball to school children, corporate leagues and barangay tournaments and will cover basic to advanced basketball skills.