DAVAO City – Rain or Shine’s rookie guard Chris Tiu said his first taste of the PBA All-Star festivities is nothing but overwhelming considering the warm reception he and the rest of pro ballers received since May 1 when they arrived in this part of Mindanao.
While the fans have yet to see San Mig Coffee’s James Yap and Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa, both set to arrive only on Friday or possibly Saturday as they still undergo therapy on their respective injuries, Tiu has been a fan favorite for the Davaoenos here.
Everywhere we go, fans recognize the 27-year-old rookie, who is not just a pro basketball player, but a model of various products as well and a TV host at the Kapuso network GMA. Fans young and old jockey for position to try to get a photo opportunity with the former Ateneo Blue Eagle star.
“Being part of the PBA All-Star is my commitment to the organization and the PBA family. I really enjoyed the whole experience here in Davao. People are very warm in receiving even when we arrived at the airport,” Tiu said during Thursday’s press conference, along with Davao del Sur’s Gov. Dodo Cagas, PBA commissioner Chito Salud and the rest of the All-Star and skills challenge participants.
Tiu is just one of four other rookies currently in Digos City to connect with the fans and do some community work within the area. The other rookies currently here in Davao are Barangay Ginebra’s Chris Ellis, Meralco’s Cliff Hodge, Alaska’s Calvin Abueva and Air21’s Simon Atkins.
The fifth rookie, Petron center June Mar Fajardo is set to arrive on Friday along with the rest of the Gilas Pilipinas team as they prepare for the culminating game that would pit the national squad against the PBA All-Stars.
Photo Source: Nuki Sabio/PBA Images