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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Chris Tiu facts

Basic facts about Chris Tiu, shooting guard and team captain of Ateneo’s Blue Eagles which recently regained the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) crown after a six-year “dry season,” beating fierce rival La Salle’s Green Archers:

• He stands 5’11” and weighs 170 lbs.
• He’s a Cancerian (July 15, 1985).

• He has been playing with the Blue Eagles for five years (since 2003), taking time off only when he went to France (and stayed there for six months) as an exchange student.

• He comes from a conservative family; his mother is an Opus Dei and his father, although not officially an Opus Dei, is a co-operator.

• His favorite fruit is banana (“The big, green one”) and he loves to eat Chinese spinach, lettuce and all-green veggies (“I’m a salad-lover”).

• He sleeps with four pillows (a long one, two regular rectangles and a small one) and his favorite sleep wear is basketball shorts and T-shirt (“Never in the nude”).

• Part of his body that needs improvement: His legs and hamstrings.

• Part of body that’s most vulnerable: “Not just one part but many parts. I have sinusitis because I broke my nose during a game, so it’s crooked. I have bad eyes, so I wear contact lenses. Maraming problema. Hehehehehe!”

• What he does when he admires a girl: “I give her a meaningful smile...discreetly!”
And what else do you want to know about Chris Tiu?
A lot. Stay tuned.

Was winning the UAAP championship your ultimate goal as a Blue Eagle?

“Yes. I really wanted to win the championship... for my school.”
How did you prepare for the games?

“Grabe ang training namin! We competed in pre-season tournaments. We also went to L.A. for training under the AIP basketball camp. We were there for two weeks. It also gave us a chance to bond a lot.”

Was it a “secret”? Didn’t the Green Archers know about it?

“I guess they knew; everybody knew, because it was in the news. The training was rigorous and intense. We had team-building sessions...you know, to be able to open up...so my teammates and I became closer to one another.”

Winning the championship was a big relief for you, right?

“Yeah. Sobra! The last time Ateneo was champion was six years ago. We were always there, kaya lang parating second place or third place...parating kumakapos ng konti.”

The rivalry between the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers was very intense. Is it true that they hired a bodyguard for you because you were getting death threats?

“No death threats, no game-fixing, no syndicate, no death threats. I don’t know where all those rumors came from. All I have is my driver na sumasama-sama sa akin wherever I go para hindi naman ako mag-isa. Sometimes, I go around by myself; sometimes, with my friends or teammates.”

Of course, even before the UAAP championship, you were already a Crush ng Bayan, Idol ng Bayan. I suppose the number of your female fans multiplied by the hundreds after the Blue Eagles became champion. How do you handle them?
“Actually, hindi ko rin alam, eh.”

Some fans could be, you know, aggressive. How do you cope with them?

“They don’t become too aggressive naman. Maybe, they are aggressive in the sense that, you know, ‘Puede pa-autograph; puede pa-picture?’ Some would ask for my phone number.”
Do you give them the wrong phone number? Hahahaha!
“No naman. I just don’t give my phone number.”

Doesn’t your girlfriend get insecure, especially now that every girl is dreaming about you?
How do you assure her that she’s the only one?
“Ahhhh...Well, through my actions.”

How are you like off-court? You are such a busybody. Aside from your studies and basketball, you also personally attend to your food stall at Ateneo. Don’t you relax?

“I read books and I watch DVDs at home. Sometimes I go out of town...to Tagaytay. But now, I can’t do that. Wala nang masyadong oras, eh.”
What kind of books do you read?

“Suspense books, business books, books about leadership. But I can’t finish reading a book; it’s always bitin. The last one I read was Heroic Leadership which is about how the Society of Jesus works.”
And what kind of movies do you watch?

“Action, suspense. I don’t really like romantic-comedies. Cheesy! Ayoko nang ganoon.”
But never daw sexy movies?
“Ah, hindi, hindi! Never!”

Is it true that you haven’t watched a sexy movie all your life?
“Never! Nasusuka ako sa mga ganoon.”
“Yeah. Nasusuka talaga ako sa mga ganoon!”

One time daw when you were a teenager, your friends had fun watching a porno movie but you ran away. Totoo ba ‘yon?

“Yeah. That’s true! Umalis ako. Nandiri ako, eh. I went to another room...”
...and there, you said the Rosary?

Is it hard living up to your spotlessly-clean image?

“No naman. Because I don’t have to put up a front; I don’t have to pretend. ‘Yon at ‘yon naman talaga ako, eh.”

So you are aware of your responsibility as a role model. Whether you like it or not, you are a role model. Aren’t you on-guard all the time? Hindi ba restricting ang ganoon, suffocating?

“Well, I’m very careful with my action kasi everything I do now is magnified. So I’m careful that I don’t send the wrong signal to the people and the fans who look up to me. But hindi naman ako nahihirapan kasi I think I’m naturally...”
...wholesome! Talaga bang santung-santo ka?

“Hindi naman. Sana, kung puede maging santo. Pero hindi ganoon kadali, eh.”

You have two shows (on GMA), Believe It or Not and Pinoy Records (with Manny Pacquiao as co-host). Are you comfortable now in front of the camera?

“I’m enjoying it na. Yes, I’m more comfortable now. It’s something different and I never thought I’d never go into it. Masaya naman pala! And the show (Believe It Or Not) is very interesting. Pinapanood ko talaga siya all the time.”
What about acting in a movie? Is it a possibility?

“There have been offers but so far...I don’t think so.”

Don’t you want to follow in the footsteps of your predecessors who have tried acting (such as Bobby Jaworski, Freddie Webb, Atoy Co, Alvin Patrimonio, Bong Alvarez, Jerry Codiñera, Yoyong Martirez, etc.)?
“If ever siguro, cameo role lang.”
As a priest, maybe?
“No naman. As myself, as a basketball player.”

What about the kind of commercials that you agree to do? What are your criteria, conditions?

“Siempre, ‘yung mga wholesome product. (Like Nesvita which he endorses with Derek Ramsay and Will Devaughn. — RFL)”
Definitely not cigarets or hard drinks?
“Hindi siguro!”
And especially not, horrors, condoms!
“Definitely not!!!”
At what age did you start playing basketball?

“When I was 10 years old, at the park with my neighbors.”

Any basketball stars whom you look up to as inspiration and role models?
“Steve Nash and Michael Jordan.”

You are very competitive, whether in business, in academics or in sports. How did you get that competitiveness?

“I guess I got it from my upbringing and from my Jesuit education which always emphasizes sa pag-gawa ng magis (He spelled it pa. — RFL). Magis means doing things with excellence...doing every little thing in your everyday life with love. With passion... walang room for mediocrity. So I think I live up to it. So whatever I do, kailangan walang mediocrity. So whatever I do, I want to be the best that I can be.”
Are you graduating this month?

“The first course I took was Management Engineering. I’m now taking up Applied Math and Finance. I don’t know if I’m finished with that na.”
Oh, I heard you are graduating with honors?

“Well, it’s an honors course. Pero walang graduating with honors.”
Will you continue playing with the Blue Eagles?

“No more playing na. The championship games were my last na. Five years lang ang maximum number of playing, eh.”
So you’re saying goodbye to the UAAP?
“Yeah. Goodbye na talaga.”
After the UAAP, what next?
“I’m not sure yet.”

I heard that you’re getting offers right and left to join the PBL (Philippine Basketball League) and the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) Games?

“Offers? From PBL, marami. Pero from the PBA, I don’t know yet.”
If and when, what PBA team would you choose?

“I don’t know yet pa nga, eh. I’m still waiting for a sign. I also want to try going pro. At least I can say that for once in my life, nag-pro ako. Otherwise, I’d just quit basketball.”

Can you say goodbye to basketball for good?
“Yes, I can.”

And what would you focus on?
“My business.”




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