The PBA world was shaken when basketball star, Chris Tiu, decided to retire after playing six years for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters back in January.
Chosen as the 7th overall pick in the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft, the former King Eagle became an integral part of the Elasto Painters' drive toward the championship in the 2016 Commissioner's Cup.
In his final year, he transformed into one of Rain or Shine's go-to players and ended his PBA career in stunning fashion by dropping a career-high 30 points against the NLEX Road Warriors on November 3.
To celebrate Valentine's Day this year, Tiu’s wife of five years, Clarisse Ong, posted an open letter she wrote her husband a few months back entitled, “Memoir of a Retiring Basketball Wife.”
In the long post, she revealed both their frustrations during his six-year career. She wrote, “Many times we scoffed at Christmas day games and grueling practices taking precedence over family events.” Even then, Clarisse expressed her uncertainty about having Chris retire, doubting if they’re ready for it financially and emotionally.
After that, she looked back at her husband’s love for basketball as a young kid, playing competitively at the age of 10. This sparked the memorable career that Chris Tiu had with the Ateneo Blue Eagles. The love for the university’s community made him want (and need) to give Ateneo a championship. Chris Tiu delivered on that promise and broke their six-year championship drought when they beat their archrivals, the DLSU Green Archers, in 2008.
After that, he didn’t go directly to the PBA as most players do. Instead, Chris focused on the Smart Gilas national team, where, as the team’s captain, they won a bronze medal in the William Jones Cup in Taipei, and gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Basketball Association, both held in Jakarta. Those three took place all in 2011.
In 2012, Chris finally declared for the PBA Rookie Draft, which would be the start of a fruitful PBA career.
Clarisse wrote that, in her eyes, basketball taught her husband many things in life that made him the great man he is today. Gratitude. Humility. Resilience. Respect. Honor. Love.
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