GEO Chiu wouldn't deny that if not for Kai Sotto, he wouldn't have played the way he had this past UAAP Season 81.
"Itong performance ko sa UAAP, I won't be able to achieve it if not for Kai. Siya yung tumulong sa akin, binigyan niya ako ng time to prepare and have the experience para makapagperform ako ng mas maayos," the Ateneo center said.
Chiu averaged 9.5 points, 9,8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.5 blocks in the 21.5 minutes this past season as he helped the Blue Eaglets reach the Finals for the second straight year before settling for a bridesmaid finish to eventual champion Nazareth School of National University.
But for the 6-foot-9 slotman, a lot of credit for his performance should be attributed on how Sotto has pushed him from their practices to the games.
"Sa practice namin, super laki ng tulong ni Kai, lalo na sa games namin. Minsan pag naliligaw ako, siya ang nagsasabi sa akin na, 'Oy Geo, trabaho muna tayo.' Yung pointers na kailangan ko malaman, 'Geo, kaya mo na kainin yan.' Having a teammate na kagaya niya, sa kanya na mismo nanggaling yun, mabu-boost ka talaga eh," said Chiu, who has been with Sotto since the Batang Gilas squad in the 2017 SEABA Under-16 Championship.
That's why Chiu could only feel proud seeing Sotto embark on a new chapter on his basketball career as he begins his quest to become the first homegrown Filipino player to make it to the NBA.
"Super happy ako for him kasi he's one step closer to his dream," he said. "Sa amin, kung saan siya masaya, doon kami masaya. I see naman na itong decision niya was the perfect one kasi ito ang makakatulong sa kanya na makalapit sa goal niya. Kami, what we want for him is kung saan siya masaya."
"Sad kami kasi parang kapatid mo na yung mawawala dahil aalis na siya, pero happy pa rin kami na mas malapit na siya ma-acchieve yung dream niya."