Chris Tiu: My commitment is to basketball

Chris Tiu (Contributed photo by Carl Valenzona)Chris Tiu (Contributed photo by Carl Valenzona)Chris Tiu remains fully committed to basketball despite the athlete-host's daunting list of responsibilities.

Besides hosting two shows in the Kapuso network—namely, “Ripley's Believe It or Not” and “Hanep Buhay”—Chris is an entrepreneur and kagawad in his barangay in Makati City.

But he said majority of his time and energy is devoted as the co-team captain of Smart Gilas, the developmental Philippine national basketball team that will compete in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship tournament in September.

“Most of my time, my energy is devoted in the national team... I was signed to be captain of the national team so I think it's my responsibility to give my time and effort to try to train and help the team to reach our goal,” he said in an interview during the re-launch of GMA Kapuso Foundation's Celebrity Ukay-Ukay last Tuesday, July 11.

Time management

Chris further explained, “It's really time management. You have to prioritize e. Like me for, most and foremost, talaga it is basketball. I'm really committed to it.”

The national team's goal, of course, is to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London, United Kingdom. The winner of the FIBA Asia Championship tournament will automatically qualify for the Olympics, while the second and third placers will compete for the remaining slots at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament along with other countries in July 2012.

The Philippines is grouped with China, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates in the tournament's preliminary round.

Chris believes the team has a “good chance” in the upcoming FIBA tournament.

“We're improving, we're maturing. And then with the PBA reinforcements joining us so I think it will really strengthen the team and plug in the loose ends kung saan kami mahina. And then yung draw pa, medyo maganda ang naging draw natin sa groupings sa FIBA, so we have a good chance,” he said.

The former Ateneo Blue Eagle added, “I hope everybody stays healthy. Kailangan din ng konting swerte. In any sport naman e, especially with the format na puro knock out-knock out lang ang games ng FIBA. We need luck and consistency, so hopefully makuha natin yung goal natin.”

On the Azkals

Smart Gilas is not the only high profile national team vying for a slot in the Olympics. The Philippine national football team, more popularly known as the Azkals, will face Kuwait in the second round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Chris thinks the popularity of the Azkals is “great for the sport and the country.”

“Not only are they able to unify the country to cheer for a common cause, but at the same time it'll be able to develop interest in the sport,” he said.

Chris' is one of the many celebrities who donated their valuables for GMA Kapuso Foundation's celebrity ukay-ukay online auction (www.ebay.ph/ukayukay), which will begin this Friday, July 15. His one-of-a-kind autographed jersey will be one of the first celebrity items to be auctioned in the site, along with other items from Kris Aquino, Sharon Cuneta, and Regine Velasquez. Pproceeds of the online auction will go the foundation's Kapuso School Development project, which aims to build 50 classrooms every year.

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