When he made himself available for the PBA draft, Chris Tiu said his parents had apprehensions about his safety in the notoriously physical pro league.
“We were worried na baka masaktan siya,” Jerry Tiu, the player’s father, told InterAKTV during the draft. “Even when he was playing in international competitions, nasasaktan siya palagi. Lagi kong nakikita na naglalagay siya ng ice sa katawan.
“As parents, you don’t want to see that on your son. Mas nasasaktan kami kapag nakikita namin siyang nasasaktan.”
But for Rain or Shine enforcer Beau Belga, Tiu’s parents have nothing to worry about when it comes to the PBA.
“Ako ang bahala sa kanya,” said Belga, vowing to serve as Tiu’s de facto bodyguard on the court.
But despite his choirboy image, Tiu is actually no angel on the hardcourt, who can not only receive physicality, but actually dish it out. His coach at SMART-Gilas Pilipinas, Rajko Toroman, attested to his toughness prior to the draft.
“He’s a tough kid. He knows how to deal with this kind of stuff. He’s an intelligent player,” said Toroman.
Rain or Shine owner Raymond Yu had a more frank assessment. “Magulang nga siya actually maglaro,” said Yu.
Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao expects no adjustments for Tiu when it comes to physicality in the league.
“Si Chris Tiu matandang rookie na naman siya, kaya sanay na rin siya sa physical game,” said Guiao about the 27-year-old guard.