UNLESS he’s really firm to retire, Rain or Shine is not about to let Chris Tiu go.
Team board of governor Atty. Mamerto Mondragon said the franchise has already offered the back-up guard a two-year contract, which the team hopes Tiu will accept once he returns from his trip abroad.
“Nag-okay na siya although wala pa kaming formal signing,” said Mondragon, a former PBA board chairman.
“Hindi ko pa rin sigurado, pero nag-signify siya ng willingness to stay with the team.”
Shortly after Rain or Shine’s season ended last year following its loss to San Miguel Beer in the semifinals of the Governors Cup, Tiu thanked the Rain or Shine management and family, along with the fans, for making the ‘PBA fun for me’ in a tweet that was initially interpreted as a hint at retirement.
The Rain or Shine guard later issued a statement saying “I initially intended to play in the PBA for just one contract period, but now I'm reconsidering because I never thought I would still enjoy playing basketball this much at this level.”
Mondragon admitted the franchise hopes the former Ateneo star will return for another tour of duty with the team.
“Kasi hindi lang naman laro si Chris sa amin, image model (din) namin siya,” said the Rain or Shine executive of the good-looking player.
Already signed up by the Elasto Painters are resident star Jeff Chan (three years) and team captain Jireh Ibanes (one year). Still up for negotiations are big men Jervy Cruz and JR Quinahan.
“May proposals na sila sa amin, and both are looking at three-year contracts,” Mondragon disclosed. "Wala pa kaming negotiations, at wala pang formal na usapan. Pero 'yun ang gusto nila (to stay with the team).”
Cruz is still recuperating from a toe injury suffered in a freak accident during the semis of the Governors Cup, although Mondragon assured he’ll be ready to play when the league kicks off its 41st season two months from now.
“Hindi pa gaano (magaling), but he’ll be playing for the season,” said the Rain or Shine official.