TYLER Tio is confident his documents will be in order in time for the collegiate basketball season, working his Filipino citizenship following his commitment to join the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP.
The 5-foot-11 Tio is a Canadian citizen, but is looking to play as a local for the Blue Eagles after playing for Xavier School in high school. Playing as a Canadian will pose a problem since only one foreign player is allowed in the UAAP and Ateneo still has an African cager in Chibueze Ikeh.
“As of now, my citizenship is Canadian but I’m working on having a Philippine passport,” said Tio, born to Filipino parents who have Canadian citizenship.
“It’s actually very complicated. My parents used to be Filipinos and was converted to Canadian,” said Tio, confident that he will be eligible to play as a Filipino in the UAAP.
Tio is one of the most sought-after players in college after a fine stint with Xavier School in the Filipino-Chinese school leagues.
He joins the Blue Eagles, who already have a heavy guard rotation under head coach Tab Baldwin, but doesn’t see that as an obstacle.
“It’s going to make me a better player because the competition is better. I think it’s just a positive for me. I don’t look at it as a negative that a lot of players play my position,” said Tio.
Tio said he decided to join Ateneo because he will take up AB Management Economics and his siblings also went to the same school.
“I’m kinda used to the culture. It’s an easier transition for me,” said Tio.
Tio also looks forward to learning a lot from Baldwin.
“That’s one of the reasons why I chose Ateneo because I know that every practice, I’m going to learn a lot from him,” said Tio, who began training with the Blue Eagles on Monday.