Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MILO 3 on 3 Warrior Championship

Hello there, Milo 3 in 1 will be hosting a 3-on-3 Basketball Warrior Championship for the UAAP Schools. 7 of the UAAP member schools have agreed to participate, excluding DLSU (Don't ask me why). This tournament has a unique voting system that will allow you to choose the 3 participants whom you wish to represent your school. Voting period is only until November 18. The games will be aired through Studio 23. Vote now!!!

Check out this link to vote:


Question for Mrs. Clinton

If you were given the chance to ask US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton one question, what would it be? Leave me a comment :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smart Gilas vs Talk and Text

One word to describe our game today against TNT... disastrous!! We couldn't get any rhythm going all throughout the game. I have to give credit to the coaching staff of TNT who crafted a freak defense catching us off guard. They started off in a man-to-man and as we made the first pass or screen in our set play, they would fall into a 2-3 zone. They did it from the start and we couldn't adjust 'til the end.

We trained with the TNT team for about a month (since we're supposedly 'sister teams') some time around July/August with Coach Toroman calling the shots and teaching the set plays. If you've noticed, both TNT and Gilas run very similar plays with almost the same defensive philosophy, except in today's game where they ran most of their old plays and applied a freak defense. Also with the absence of CJ Giles, they pounded the ball inside and got a lot of easy points underneath and through fast breaks. I was helpless watching in the sidelines due to a slight injury and i got so restless seeing the lead getting bigger and bigger.

I really hate the feeling of losing, i mean who doesn't? Most especially now that we are the RP team and we will be carrying the flag of the Philippines. Every game won is not just a win for the brand or the company, but rather the entire nation. Huge responsibility and pressure! Today's game was truly frustrating for us, and i know for many Filipinos alike. In basketball, just like in life, you win some you lose some. I just want to assure each Filipino (whether a believer of the RP team or not) that we are trying our very best in every game and in every practice everyday. We are giving everything we've got l in every practice, knowing that we are playing for a greater cause. I know 'trying our best' is not enough... we have to be the best!

I texted an old wise friend expressing my frustration and disappointment. The reply was "In these trying times, you have to stick together and toughen up! Be patient and you will definitely get better." Again, I want to thank all those who continue to support the Gilas team! Hope that you never get tired of cheering and believing!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Smart Gilas vs BK

Today, we got clobbered, literally and figuratively, by the 'BK Whoopers'! It was more of a boxing match than a basketball match. We expected it, but we didn't see it coming this bad.

Our offense wasn't so bad as we were still able to score 105 points and shot 47% from the field. BUT it was our defense that killed us, as we allowed 115 points for BK. We lost the rebounding battle as well by 12. BK played a great game today as well and made the necessary adjustments. They shot 59% from the field! That's excellent.

For me it's not so much about the X and O's. It was their viciousness that got us out of our normal rhythm. 4 flagrant fouls in the first half and Winnie Arboleda's "attacking a fan" moment saw our 13 point lead disappear. Our players became hesitant to drive to the basket and dive for the loose balls. Most coaches will probably instruct their players to play physical when playing against a younger, skinnier and faster team in order to intimidate them. But playing dirty, is something else. It was a fitting initiation for us in our debut game in the PBA.

It was a sorry loss for the Gilas team. We don't expect the referees to cut us some slack as seen today. It's as if there were two different standards for both teams. But that's precisely why we're in the PBA as a guest team. We're here to learn, to toughen up when playing more experienced and physical players.

It's just really embarrassing to see a veteran/franchise player behave so unprofessionally. After getting away with a slap to the face of JV Casio, an elbow again to the face of JV and a football tackle to Mac Baracael, he still hasn't had enough and goes up to the stands to beat up a Gilas fan. All that in just 3 minutes inside the court. I am really curious to see what actions or inactions the PBA will take for such actions.

Nevertheless, it was an entertaining game. See you Wednesday vs Talk and Text.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

MILO 3-in-1 TVC

Hello, here's my latest MILO 3 in 1 TVC with JVee Casio, my current teammate in SMART Gilas. Hope you like it!



Friday, October 9, 2009

Blue Eagles win it BACK 2 BACK

I was kinda nervous that morning before the game because I knew that UE was a tough team that plays with a lot of energy and emotion. Anything could have happened! Once UE gets their rhythm going, they're very very difficult to contain.

Ateneo did everything right in game 3 to clinch the championship convincingly! They proved that they are the best team in the UAAP and probably in the entire collegiate level in the Philippines. Game 2 was just a disaster where the Blue Eagles fell into the trap of UE's 2-3 zone defense. They attempted too many 3-pointers and never got it going. Eventually, they lost the confidence shooting from the outside. UE on the other hand, was on fire. They started connecting on their outside shots and that got them on a roll.

In game 3, everybody knew that UE would play the same zone press, then fall back to a 2-3 zone defense. Coach Norman and the rest of the coaching staff did such a great job making the necessary adjustments. First, they attacked UE on the fast break and secondary break on every opportunity. They were quick on the outlet passes and they were going hard to the basket against Espiritu and Llagas. They didn't settle for too many 3 point shots. They were patient moving the ball around and hitting Rabeh inside for a higher percentage shot. And lastly, their defense was suffocating! Nonoy was holding the fort as usual, and everybody else did their part. From the start of the game, i could tell that Rabeh didn't care about the stats, he just wanted to win it. You could see it in his body language.

Jai Reyes played a great all around game. His dishes to Rabeh and timely 3 point shots broke the game open, not to mention the leadership. Ryan Buenafe, Kirk Long, Nico Salva, Bacon Austria, Eman Monfort all stepped up as well on both ends of the floor. Eric Salamat finally came out to play, not necessarily scoring points, but breaking down the UE defense and making important plays.

I would have loved to be part of this back-to-back team. Victory is always sweet but we should recognize the dedication and effort but in by each individual, player, coaching staff, management, utility, etc. It has been a great basketball season for Ateneo seniors and juniors as well. We hope that the other Ateneo athletes can bring home the crown as well. Good luck to you guys and more power!

In the meantime, it's time to celebrate! Congratulations to the BLUE EAGLES! But let's also not forget our brothers and sisters in Northern Luzon who are in great danger and suffering because of typhoon Pepeng. Let's pray for them and do what we can to help them out! One Big Fight!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why Smart Gilas won over Powerade...

Because of your numerous requests to blog about the Charity game, here it is. But first, let me thank all those who watched the Charity game LIVE at the Araneta and also at home. Of course, it would have been better if you were there live because your ticket purchase would have gone to the victims of the typhoons. Nevertheless, thank you for the support!

When we first heard that we will be playing the Powerade team, we were excited but at the same time somewhat unsure. We're a bunch of players who just finished college (some are still playing for their universities) who will be going up against the legends of Philippine basketball. Right away i thought about who i will be guarding, it was James Yap, a former MVP. I've always enjoyed watching him play. I admire his jumpshots and creativity in making baskets in almost every way. And then there was Willie Miller, Dillinger, Norwood and Baguio. Pretty star-studded.

The last time I played against an RP team was in 2007 when i was still playing for Ateneo. The RP team then was coached by Chot Reyes. We were blown-out by almost 40 points in two quarters. Not a very good memory.

Although it was a charity exhibition game, both teams surely wanted to win. The Gilas team wanted to make a statement that we can compete internationally and that we should be the ones competing abroad now that the Powerade team has served their duty in the last FIBA Asia Champions Cup in August. On the other hand, i'm sure the Powerade team wanted to prove that they are indeed the strongest team in the country today.

Obviously, Powerade didn't really have the chance to brush up on their plays because the players are all practicing with their mother squads in the PBA. Whereas in the Gilas team, at least 6 or 7 of us were able to train regularly for a few months now until the UAAP players (Ababou, Cawaling, Ramos) joined us just last week. But that's exactly the point of the Smart Gilas program: to come up with a national team that trains together all year round in preparation for international competitions.

I think the result of the game yesterday (for those who didn't watch, Gilas won by 29) just vindicates how important playing a team game is compared to doing it individually. I will admit that in terms of individual skill/technique, the Gilas players are still lagging behind to equal that of the Powerade players. One on one, i don't think JV Casio/Barocca can match up with Willie Miller. Cawaling, Ababou and I cannot match up one on one with James Yap either. All the more Ballesteros and Japeth cannot match up with Asi Taulava, Sonny Thoss and Kirby Raymundo. The only reason why we were able to emerge victorious against them yesterday was because of the 'system' of Coach Rajko Toroman. Even defensively, there are strict rules to be followed. Offensively, there's a lot of movement going-on. Lots of screening, cutting and passing, all within the playbook of Coach T. I'm trying not to make it too technical for those who don't really follow basketball . But simply put, there's a strict system that we follow which entails a lot of discipline and paying attention to details. On the other side, Team Powerade had their own sets of plays, which i felt lacked the continuity and mastery. The plays were broken down and ended in a one on one situation. It's definitely no walk in the park for James Yap / Willie Miller to beat 5 players. At times, it broke down to a two-man game with ball screens and hand-offs. I think I heard Quinito Henson mention this as well when i watched the replay of the game, team game vs individual talent.

At the start of the game, we were a bit rusty and kind off starstruck with our opponents which led to many turnovers and bad shots. But slowly, we were able to get into the rhythm of the game.

I'm just very grateful to be given this chance to play under Coach T. What a learning experience!! Like what i said in a previous blog entry, i believe i made the best choice in this decision to play with Smart Gilas under Coach T. I cannot imagine myself playing under another coach or system at this moment. How i wish that Philippine basketball can evolve and adopt his European style and stop copying the NBA, so that we can be competitive internationally. Look how Lebanon, Jordan and Iran (which Coach T led to the Olympics) are now overtaking the old Asian powerhouses like Korea, Philippines, etc. Who would have thought that even China would be blown out by Iran in the Finals game of the FIBA Asia Championships? Sometimes, we just have to lower our pride and egos if we sincerely want to become better. Not necessarily in basketball, but in any facet of our lives.

This is just the beginning of our long journey towards 2011. Thank you to all those who continue to support RP Smart Gilas and I pray that the divisions will cease to exist in Philippine basketball that hinder our country from reaching its full potential.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Charity Game on Monday

The SBP (Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas), together with the PBA, PBL, UAAP and NCAA, is organizing a fund raiser basketball showdown this Monday, October 5 for the victims of Ondoy. There will be two games. First game at 5pm is between the UAAP/NCAA selection vs PBL/Liga Pilipinas selection. And the main game at 7pm is between the RP Powerade vs RP Smart Gilas. Of course, I will be playing in that game for the Smart Gilas team together with Japeth Aguilar, Marc Barocca, JV Casio, Dylan Ababou, CJ Giles, etc.

Tickets are priced at P200 Patron, P100 Lower Box and P50 Upper Box A. If you donate old shoes / slippers, you can get in for free and watch from Upper B / General Admissions area. All proceeds from ticket sales will be used for the victims of typhoon Ondoy. It's gonna be a great show so make sure that you'll be at the Araneta Coliseum this Monday. You'll be easing a lot of lives as well! :)


Monday, September 28, 2009

INFORMATION for Relief Operations

So many of our citizens are suffering and we CAN help. We SHOULD help in any way that we can, no matter how miniscule we think it is. You can donate extra food, clothes, medicines, slippers, blankets that you don't need at home. You can let others know of sites or centers that need relief / rescue. Most of all, PRAY!!

Here's a blog site that you can refer to for information: http://superbianca.blogspot.com/

Feel free to leave a comment in my blog or twitter (@chris_tiu) for more information you might want to share. Thanks!

God bless the Filipinos!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Smart Choice

It's been more than a month since i last posted and so much has happened in so short a time. So many issues. We know of the Japeth, Marc Barocca and Jobe Nkemakolam issues. 2 out of 3 are current teammates in Gilas (although Japeth is unofficial) and 1 was a former Blue Eagle teammate. All of a sudden, Smart Gilas is back in the spotlight. After mutually agreeing that the Smart Gilas team will compete in the upcoming international competitions after the Powerade team's stint in Tianjin, now they want to review the by-laws of the SBP and push for another PBA-backed team. Then, a ban of Japeth to play in the PBA is the works. I'd rather not talk about these issues right now, but rather my experiences being part of the Smart Gilas team for more than half a year now.

We just completed a 2-day trip to Singapore to play against the Singapore Slingers composed of several American and Australian imports coupled with domestic players. We came out victorious by 3 points, could have been more if not for the lapses of the Singaporean referees. But that's always the case if you're playing a home team abroad. Surprisingly, there were more Filipinos than Singaporeans in the crowd. Thanks to al the Pinoys who came to support us!

It was a very short and tiring trip, but very fruitful indeed. Cj Giles, JV Casio, Mac Baracael, Jason Ballesteros, Magi Sison, Mark Barocca, Japeth Aguilar, Fil-Australians Sebastian Salinas and Matt Schmechtig, and myself made up the 10-man lineup. And guess who was assigned to be my roommate, the hottest man on the news Mark Barocca! We had a long and emotional chat. I was being very attentive and open-minded. I could feel his sincerity, disappointment and frustration. He was very open and candid, which made me realize that he was indeed a victim. I gave him a rosary and a St. Josemaria Escriva prayer card from my mom. He thanked me and he took out a St. Jude prayer booklet which he read before going to bed.

Going back to our trip, we arrived in Singapore on Tuesday around 3 in the afternoon. We arrived at our hotel around 330pm starving!! Because apparently you have to pay extra to be served lunch on the budget airline that we took (Oh, and also an additional $20 to be transferred to a bulkhead seat regardless if you're 5'0 or 6'10 like CJ and Japeth). We grabbed a quick bite and went straight to practice from 5 to 7pm. Mind you, it wasn't even a light practice. After dinner at a Chinese tea house, we were given the option to look around the city for a while with a curfew at 12. I stayed in because my body was shutting down. The following morning, we had breakfast all together as always at 9am. Then, at 12nn we went to the gym to shoot around and get familiar with the rim and the balls. Then back to the hotel for lunch and to rest. We left for the game at 6pm. The game lasted from 8 to 10pm. Thankfully we won and because it was CJ Giles' 24th birthday, we were allowed to check out the nightlife in Singapore but with a curfew because we had to leave for the airport at 4am. On our way home to the hotel, we were all getting anxious because if we were a minute late for curfew, we knew we were going to be in deep deep trouble! We made it on time, whew!

That's Coach Rajko Toroman for you. Discipline cannot be compromised. The Singapore trip, just like any other out of town trip, is no vacation. Every day, every hour is like clock work. Everybody eats together for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Like in Jakarta, you would see players from the other Asian countries coming in the dining hall one or two at a time, eating on their own. That's a no no for Coach T. There's no such thing as a day-off. If game time is still in the afternoon, there's always a shoot around session in the morning. Time for rest means no one leaves his hotel room. And if we have time to check out the city, we always go as a group. Reminds me of my college/high school team where everything is so disciplined and 'professional'. It may sound too rigid for some, but ironically, we have lots of fun traveling abroad as a team despite all that. I always look forward to out of town trips.

And that's what i love about this group. We're all about the same age and full of energy. Practices are always intense. Coach T himself is very intense in every single practice, more so during games. Sometimes we fear for his blood pressure. He is never ever late and there's no excuse for being late. He runs the drills himself while the assistant coaches support him, not the other way around like in many professional teams. He is extremely particular with the details and making the right decisions in every play offensively and defensively. He is a perfectionist.

I truly admire Coach T's dedication to the team, reminding me of my former coaches Norman and Sandy. When he took us to Serbia (his hometown) for 2 weeks of exhibition matches last April, he stayed with us in the hotel during our entire stay there despite his residence being just 10 minutes away. Even during our weights sessions, he would sit there for the entire 2 hours while we work out with our strength and conditioning coach. Some other coaches would probably use that time to take care of their other 'rackets'.

We are aware that there has been some resistance from the local basketball community regarding hiring a foreign coach to be the captain of the ship for the national team. Being under him for several months now, i have come to really appreciate the new system and tactical changes that he has introduced. For that and all the other things that i have mentioned earlier, i am truly grateful to be part of this experience, to be under his wing. I sincerely hope that more local coaches can humble themselves and try to learn this new European philosophy that Coach T has adopted rather than being so close-minded thinking that we already know it all. Maybe you're good enough locally, but outside is an entirely different competition. We always want to learn from the US style, but then again we must accept that we are not genetically gifted like them. This is a great opportunity for Philippine basketball to regain its rightful position in the international spectrum.

This is why i believe that i made the smart choice. Actually, i was more of lucky because i finished my collegiate career right at the perfect time while this new program is being developed. God just has His ways. If i had joined the PBA draft, i might have been disillusioned and my passion for the game might not be the same as it is right now. What better feeling it is to be playing the sport you love, traveling around the world, playing intensely with a special bunch of guys, and most importantly, playing for ONE goal - that is the Philippine flag. A goal that is not unique for the Gilas team, but one that is shared by the 90 million Filipinos all over the world.


P.S. Who can ever blame Japeth for making that same decision "to play for country"??

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pare, sobrang cheesy!

Here's my latest Greenwich TVC, together with some Blue Eagles and John Lloyd, featuring the Extreme Cheese Pizzas.... The Philly Cheese Steak pizza and The Extreme Cheese and Pepperoni Overload pizza :) The first time I tried it during our shoot, it was really delicious! We all loved it! Hope you'll like it too.

Last Saturday , I visited Naga for the first time. I was invited to be guest speaker for the BACS athletic meet or Bicol Association of Catholic Schools . Schools from all over Naga, Legazpi, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, etc., participated in the various sports and cultural competitions held at the Ateneo de Naga University. The sports events include basketball, volleyball and table tennis, while there were also singing and dancing competitions. Coincidentally, it happened to be the opening day of the intramurals of Ateneo de Naga as well.

I took the first flight out and was back in Manila by 5pm. We arrived before 7am and immediately checked out CWC in Cam Sur, where people go wakeboarding. Then, had a quick breakfast, did a radio interview and proceeded to Ateneo de Naga (ADNU) where i spoke briefly to the students. After which, there was supposedly a short photo-op and signing session but apparently it lasted longer than we all expected. It was really heartwarming to see all these young and fine supporters... mostly girls i have to say. Then , we had lunch with the Board of Trustees of ADNU, who happened to have a meeting there that day too. Then we proceeded to watch the championship game between ADNU and Aquinas University of Legazpi. ADNU won that game with a huge margin, thanks to a very supportive and active homecourt crowd. It was a short but very fulfilling trip!

I want to thank the organizers for inviting me and making all the necessary arrangements. Everything was very organized. The reception i received was amazing. I didn't expect the students to be so energetic and friendly. It made me feel so lucky to have played for a university with such a big fan base in Bicol. To all the Bicolanos who happen to come across this blog page of mine, thank you for making my visit to Naga such a memorable one! Looking forward to seeing you again some time soon :)


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ateneo vs La Salle Part 2 (08/16/09)

Another win for the Blue Eagles today and this time much more convincing! I was calm throughout the game and enjoying myself. No tense moments. Finally the Blue Eagles made the right adjustments and totally controlled the game.

First, they attacked La Salle's press and got lots of easy points, unlike in the first game where they were quite passive. They were driving and dishing to the open men (mostly Ryan and Eric). Shooting was excellent today. Rabeh didn't have to bleed for his points, because most of them were easy baskets thanks to the beautiful assists coming from the guards, most especially Eric Salamat. Ateneo's defense was excellent, taking away the strengths of La Salle. It was clear that they studied the video tapes and the tendencies of each player. Great scouting. I think Rabeh played his best defensive game with 3 blocks. Prior to this game, he only averaged 0.4 blocks despite being the biggest player in the league playing lots of minutes. I think Eman Monfort and Jai Reyes might even be able to surpass that! Because of Ateneo's ability to make stops, La Salle could not set up its press as much and force errors. Also, we took care of the ball and took away La Salle's easy fast break points. Lastly, the boys were having fun in the court and it was very evident. They played as a team and everything was just flowing naturally. Great game! But still a long season ahead.

I love this picture by Aly Yap! Checking papers in an Ateneo-La Salle game... amazing! Only the legendary Fr. Dacanay can hack it. Good news for the Fr. Dacanay students :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ateneo vs La Salle (08/09/09)

When I received a text message saying that the 2nd round Ateneo-La Salle game would be this Sunday, i couldn't believe it. We haven't even gotten over the high of that wonderful nerve-racking game. I have to admit that i did get stressed out watching from the sidelines. My heart was beating fast and i can't help wanting to just get inside the court, not exactly to play, but more so to give tips and reminders to the Blue Eagles. There were so many lapses. Here are some of my insights about the game.

From the opening tip, I could see that the Archers were more fired up. I'm not saying that they wanted the win MORE, because there's always no need for any motivation when facing your arch rivals. The archers also came out with a lot of confidence, especially from their rookies and sophomores. The veterans were actually missing in action. They were getting too many easy points on the fast break, partly because of the terrible transition defense of the eagles. On the other hand, Ateneo was bleeding for every point, with Eric having to craft all kinds of crazy shots. La Salle's defense was excellent. They pressured the ball very well like always and they clog the middle and closed out on the shooters quite well. They were able to do so partly because of the lack of movement in the offense of ateneo which is centered on Rabeh. I felt that Jai and Ryan could have created more for the big men by penetrating deep into the defense of La salle and giving Ateneo easy points. But only Eric was able to do so.

Moreover, Ateneo's players seemed more winded and fatigued towards the end of the game while the DLSU players still looked fresh. Maybe they're not as conditioned as La Salle? But I'd like to think it had to do with the longer stretches that Ateneo players have to play as compared to La Salle's short and quick rotation. Going back to defense, I felt that there was a lack of focus on defense. Normally, we scout individual tendencies of opponents before the actual game. So come game time, each player knows exactly how to defend whoever he is matched up against. Apparently, the eagles allowed an archer to have the game of his life. Not to take away anything from the guy, he played great. What i'm saying is that they could have limited his points if they defended correctly. I don't want to go into the technicals and reveal anything in this blog. Let's let the coaches take care of that in the drawing board.

Even if Ateneo prevailed in overtime, DLSU had made a statement that they're no pushover in this league! I guess they didn't have a go-to-guy (like a Casio or Maierhoffer) to provide the points when they needed it most down the stretch. Their young players showed great potential and that the teams in the UAAP will have to worry about them in the near future.

It was such a fun game to watch! More than that, it was symbolic. Both sides in yellow in commemoration of our nation's mother. Two beautiful prayers. Two rival teams but united in one cause. For me, it was even more special as i was able to watch it beside my two idols :)

I'll try to write more about my thoughts on Tita Cory soon. Ciao!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Eagles of Excellence by Michelle Dayrit-Soliven (Phil Star July 26, 2009)

Eagles of Excellence
FAMILY JEWELS by Michelle Dayrit-Soliven Phil. Star, July 26, 2009

The Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame Foundation awards Chris Tiu with a plaque of recognition for his excellence in sports and in academics. Handing him the award are ASHOF chairman Victor Sison, Michael Escaler and Tito Panlilio.
Upon his recent graduation, the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) honored a prodigious young Ateneo alumnus for his recent achievement as an excellent athlete, honor student and his success as a mass media personality. His name is Chris Tiu, definitely a certified well-rounded handsome eagle.

In that ASHOF recognition ceremony, it was interesting to discover that Chris Tiu follows a pedigreed line of noteworthy Ateneo alumni who earlier lived and pursued a highly successful well-rounded regimen.

These eagles lived and breathed mens sana in corpore sano, a sound mind in a sound body, in its purest and highest standard. Truly, they are excellent examples of excellence.

Chris Tiu is in good company. Ateneo has produced many outstanding well-rounded honor student-athletes. Of a much older generation, there was Jose Rizal, a champion fencer-summa cum laude-national hero combined. There was Ambrosio Padilla, an Olympic cager-bar topnotcher-senator and Luis “Moro” Lorenzo, national cager-honor student-prosperous businessman.

Of a younger generation, there are Ateneo Sports Hall of Famers who were honor students and now highly successful in their professional or business pursuits. Consider Arben Santos, Michael Escaler, Cristino “Tito” Panlilio, Edmidio “Boy” Ramos, Gregorio “Ogie” Narvasa, IT professional Edwin Chow, top banker Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola and Juan “Johnny” Velasquez of the popular Spirit of ’67 fame.

It is interesting to note that all these well-rounded eagles were Jesuit-trained from prep to college. It is definitely this valuable academic foundation that has made it possible for them to be honor students in this tough educational institution.

Here are their brief stories:
Arben Santos
A true blue Atenean, shipping man and Management Engineering graduate Arben Santos was an all-around athlete playing varsity basketball, football, softball and track and field in the late ’60s. In high school, for overall athletic prowess, he was chosen Athlete of the Year. To this day, he is the only Atenean known to have joined four varsity sports. In 1968, he scored the winning goal to bring the NCAA football championship to Ateneo.
Arben is the owner of his own shipping company, Southwest Maritime. He also owns five Japan-built LPG vessels chartered by Shell. He managed the Ateneo senior basketball team from 1998 to 2005, and produced the 2002 champion team.

Michael Escaler
Between 1967 to 1972 was the golden era of NCAA track and field competitions. The cheering crowd from different NCAA schools would fill the Rizal Memorial Track Stadium. Michael, an AB Economics honorable mention graduate and president of the Student Catholic Action, completely dominated the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash, and from high school to college, Michael was unbeaten in the sprints. Michael eventually ran for the country in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Today, he is the owner of the country’s biggest sugar trading company, All Asian Countertrade, Inc. (ACCI) and is also chairman of PASUDECO sugar mill, and the San Fernando Electric Light & Power Company, Inc. (SFELAPCO).

Cristino “Tito” Panlilio
Like many star athletes of his time, Cristino “Tito” Panlilio was a multi-sports varsity player. He excelled in basketball and in athletics. Tito was a member of the NCAA College ’69 basketball champion team, and was a two-time NCAA all-star basketball team member.
At the end of the basketball season, he would practice for the high, broad and triple jumps, where he likewise reaped gold and silver medals in the NCAA track meets.
Tito, indefatigable in sports, is likewise a consistent honor student and an Ateneo MBA with distinction. He was perennial class president. Today, he is the president of Balibago Waterworks System, Inc. (BWSI), the biggest privately-owned provincial waterworks company. He is also a director of Maybank Philippines, Inc. and active in the Rotary Club of Makati and the upliftment of Filipino workmanship through Galing Pilipino Foundation.

Edmidio “Boy” Ramos
In his school days, Edmidio “Boy” Ramos was consistently on the top of his class, likewise winning in elocution, reading and mathematics. He also received the “Boy Scout of the Year” award. In college, he finished the Economics honors course.
He excelled in volleyball, having played for the juniors team that won the championship in the NCAA in 1973 and 1974. And again duplicating the feat in the seniors division in 1976 and 1977. These four championships may be hard to duplicate in the many years to come. As the team’s captain, he merited such awards as the “Most Valuable Player of the Ateneo NCAA” and “Outstanding Athlete” for volleyball.
In 2001, he joined Monark (the exclusive distributor of Caterpillar equipment) and five years later, became the current president. He is active in the Ateneo Alumni Affairs in raising funds for many alumni projects.

Gregorio “Ogie” Narvasa II
All throughout his life, lawyer Gregorio “Ogie” Narvasa II played championship basketball and was the MVP awardee in high school. Such accomplishment paved the way to his participation in the RP national basketball team which competed both in the Pesta Sukan Tournament in Singapore and the ABC Youth Basketball Tournament in Manila in 1978 and 1979.
In college, Ogie finished the Business Management honors program, then went to UP law school where he ranked eighth in his class and earned a membership to the prestigious Order of the Purple Feather honors society.
This founding partner of the noted Fortun Narvasa & Salazar Law Office was a consistent honor student and recipient of the prestigious Evelio Javier Award in 1977.
Despite his hectic schedule, Ogie, a young widower for eight years now, devotes much time in rearing his four growing children.

Edwin Chow
Edwin Chow finished his five-year BS Management Engineering course in four-and-a-half years while finding himself in the Dean’s List as well. At the same time, he garnered gold medals in the NCAA high jump event in the late ’70s, and a silver in the National Open.
He was also in Gintong Alay in 1981. Edwin is also a NCAA gold medalist in the hurdles event. For his achievements in track and field for the Ateneo, he will be inducted into the ASHOF this August 2009.
Edwin is presently the GM of Lawson Philippine Solutions & Service Center and finds fulfillment in proving that the Filipino can be the best in computer programming.

Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola III
The well-respected and multi-awarded banker Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola III has studied and worked hard to be where he is now--as president of BPI.
Another true blue Atenean, Gigi is an MBA Harvard graduate. At the Ateneo, he finished Management Engineering, cum laude, and was valedictorian of his high school class ’68. He is a member of the Ateneo ’66 NCAA champion softball team and the ’67 NCAA Ateneo champion volleyball and golf team. To this day, Gigi maintains a near-single-digit golf handicap, a mean feat by itself.
In banking, the legacy he leaves to society is to make banking more accessible and affordable through alternative channels such as the ATM, phone and Internet.
Having spent a year in Paris as an exchange student, Gigi has maintained close cultural and business ties with France and was even conferred the honor of “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur” by the French government in 2007.

Juan “Johnny” Velasquez
Juan “Johnny” Velasquez is a top student-athlete-executive/entrepreneur, and in his midlife, attained a highly satisfying pursuit that of music artistry.
Johnny is the dashing vocalist of the lively Aliw awardee Spirit of ’67 band. But little do they know that he is a Stanford University MBA graduate after finishing AB Economics, cum laude.
In high school, he was a member of the NCAA 1966 Ateneo softball champion team, the golf team and a prominent cast member of Ateneo’s numerous annual drama productions--a certified well-rounded Atenean.
Today, Johnny is into property development, agribusiness ventures and heads a BPO operation of Solegy LLC, a New York company. Johnny believes Ateneo trained him for a higher purpose in life as to look after society’s greater good.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Follow me on Twitter / ADMU vs UP

Wow!! I'm sure everyone expected a blowout game today between UP and Ateneo. But that's precisely why it's so fun to watch basketball! Because you cannot predict the outcome of games no matter what the odds may seem. Today, UP played very very motivated and inspired basketball. They did their homework and they were on fire in the 2nd half. Give credit to the coaching staff. Ateneo on the other hand was overconfident and came out flat. With an early lead in the 1st half, they failed to put away UP when they could have but instead allowed them to get back in the game and build on their momentum.

Anyway, it's one of those games where valuable lessons are learned! A reality check and wake up call for the Blue eagles! It's fine... there's still a long way to go in the season. Besides, "Ateneo" made it to the 2nd highest in the trending topics list on Twitter. That means Ateneo was the 2nd most talked about topic for a moment even ahead of Michael Jackson, Harry Potter, etc. Cool huh!?

By the way, you can follow me on twitter @chris_tiu that's the real me! I believe there are some fake accounts. :)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Very Special Gift for my 24th

After viewing the 'Comment Moderation' page, i was shocked to see more than a hundred new comments / greetings just after checking it a few hours ago - which is actually the reason why I decided to write something new. It's very touching that most of you remembered my birthday or perhaps because my THANK YOU message came quite early in the day. Either way, thanks for the very very kind and flattering words! Except for those who greeted me a Happy 25th Birthday! I still posted it anyways :) Your support and appreciation truly encourages me to always go beyond giving my best. I honestly thought that once my stint with the Blue Eagles is done, you'd be all gone as well! Kidding! Glad you're still following this blogspot of mine despite my seldom posts.

I'm writing this at 2am of the 16th already. Thanks to all those who wished that i have a great birthday, well, i did! It was nothing less than amazing! I actually woke up pretty late today, around 10am because of a late night last night. If not for a phone call, i would have probably slept longer. I couldn't believe it! It was... the mayor! Apparently, he makes it a point to greet all the Kagawads under his watch on our birthdays. We spoke for less than a minute and he even called me Christian! Haha :) Then i checked my inbox and i had about 80 unread messages in one phone and 50 in the other. That was at 10am... more beautiful greetings came in as the day came along. I then attended the 12nn mass and bought food for the household to celebrate my b-day since all my family members were missing in action. Then i spent around 2 hours replying to every single message, at least those whose names are in my phonebook... but 2 hours was still not enough. I just tried to reply to a few at a time every time i could get the chance.

The highlight of my day was watching Game 6 of the SMB-Ginebra Finals in Araneta Coliseum with my idol, Amb. Kristie. I've always admired how she remains so grounded and genuinely friendly to each individual she meets along the way. What really struck me is her ability to pay close attention to details despite the extremity of the issues she has to face on a daily basis. Her energy is unbelievable! Sometimes, i can't keep up anymore :) I can go on and on with great things to say about Amb. Kristie. We have to be so thankful that she is assigned to us, a nation in great need of selfless leaders who place national interests on top of everything else. I think that was the best birthday gift this year, not the front row ticket to the game, but rather the chance to be in company with such a remarkable and inspiring individual.

Then of course, what better way to cap off the day with a sing-along night with my Tiu cousins in Redbox!


P.S. Thank you again for making me feel special and appreciated today... and everyday :) You are the very special gift! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thank You

Here's a big THANK YOU to all of you for your greetings! I feel really touched that you remembered me in my special day. Hope you continue to pray for me that this coming year will be another great one filled with love and happiness. And also that I may remain grounded and make the right decisions in life :) Once again, thank you! Thank you! :)


Friday, July 10, 2009

CLEAR Men Future League

I want to apologize again for disappearing for almost a month. It's already UAAP season and for sure you will be hearing from me more often. I can't wait for the season to kick off especially since Ateneo will be playing FEU in its first game - i think it will be a preview of the championship series for this season. Uh-oh! i think i just motivated all the other teams especially DLSU and UE.

Anyway, since we're talking about basketball again, some of you probably have read the press releases of my new show that's going to air this Sunday, July 12 on Solar Sports and CS9. It will air every Sunday at 8pm on CS9 with replays on Tuesdays at 9pm and Saturdays at 5pm on BTV. It's a basketball reality show called The Clear Men Future League. I will be the host for this show, together with Sharon Yu and Coach Benjie Paras who will be dealing more closely with the players.

There are 6 players per team. Each half runs for 10 minutes. Hundreds of teams participated from the different legs all over the Philippines (Baguio, Laguna, Cebu, Davao and Metro Manila). Most of the participants are current or previous college varsity players. Then, 10 of the top teams will enter the finals to be held in Manila, all aiming at the prize to be proclaimed Champion of The 1st Clear Men Future League.

Hope you guys can watch and support!! Thank you :)

Oh btw, Happy Birthday Mom!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I don't have the original copy of the file. But here's the link for the Sandbox TVC as you guys requested. Hope you guys like it.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009



Many of you have seen the AKO MISMO commercials. Of course, how can you miss it when it was first aired during the Pacquiao-Hatton match, which was broadcasted locally through GMA7? Some people still ask me what this advocacy is really about. Here's my own version to try to explain it to you.

AKO MISMO is an advocacy that aims to encourage each and every Filipino to make his or her own pledge that will help make this country a better place to live in. Whether you are a fisherman, a taxi driver, a fishball vendor, a teacher, a scientist, a banker, a politician, a businessman, you get what i mean... you must make your own commitment no matter how miniscule or how outrageous. A pledge can be as simple as stopping to buy pirated DVDs or paying your proper taxes, or going on carpool to save gas, always putting on a smile and saying thank you.

Because if we seriously want our country to progress and be more 'livable' to the millions of Filipinos, we have to start somewhere. We have to start from ourselves! Stop blaming the lawmakers, law implementers, crooked policemen or whoever, look first at yourself! Are you actually doing something for the good of your country men?

This advocacy's primary goal is to move YOU to take an INITIATIVE, rather than being a passive spectator waiting for a better tomorrow. And this is precisely why I agreed to support this cause, because it is something that I firmly believe in! Critics were bashing at the lavish spending of SMART for this campaign for the media placements and talent fees. Well, no talent fees were paid because we, endorsers all support this cause 100% , knowing how much impact this can create.

I can't keep track as to how many queries i've received asking how and where the AKO MISMO DOG TAG can be bought. Well this is the reason why I timed this entry today. AKO MISMO has been receiving over 1000 dog tag requests daily. Finally, we will be having the AKO MISMO DOG TAG DAY on Friday, June 12 at the Fort Global City Open Field. It will be a day-long event starting 2pm. Dog Tags will be sold at P40 each and will serve as your ticket and ID to the event. Proceeds will go to the beneficiary charity partners. Caritas Manila, UN Stand up Against Poverty, World Vision, Dynamic Teen Company, ERDA, UP PGH Cancer Institute Foundation, Gawad Kalinga, Cutis Laxa Benefit, PNP Badge of Honor Foundation, PLDT Smart Foundation, and DDB Cares.

There will be many many bands performing, from the up and coming to the iconic bands today like Bamboo, Ely Buendia and Pupil, The Dawn, Kamikaze, Kjwan, and Up Dharma Down. The event will run all the way until evening. There will be raffle prizes as well. I'll see you guys there!

You can also visit www.akomismo.org


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Who says we can't dream?

Hello, it's been a week since the last day of the FIBA Asia Champions' Cup held in Jakarta. As you may already know we, the RP Smart Gilas team, finished 5th place out of 10 participating countries. Maybe before the tournament began, we would be satisfied to clinch 5th spot. But after actually competing against those colossal and experienced national players, 5th place was actually a disappointment for me, personally. I have been advised not to get too hard on myself and the team because we did OK considering we are a young, scrawny and inexperienced team. But here's the reason why i felt that we could have easily landed in the 3rd or 4th spot.

First of all, we were unfortunate enough to have been placed in the 'bracket of death'. Our first game was against Korea. They were not unusually gigantic, maybe 6'7 and 6'8 centers, and without an import. We matched up pretty well against them. They played their usual "korean" style basketball with a lot of back screens, drive and kicks, and flawless 3-point shots. Not just were they physical, they don't trim their nails as well. This was our first official international game, we started off slow but got our rhythm going and won the game by 10+ points. (I can't remember the stats)

Second game was against Iran, the powerhouse that made it to the Beijing Olympics, plus two imports - Priest Lauderdale who stands at 7'4 and Jakson Vroman (6'9 and played for three years in the NBA) 7 of their national team players who played in the Olympics were in the lineup. Honestly, before the game, i have to admit that i would have been happy if we finished the game losing by not more than 25 points. To our surprise, we came out aggressive and even led by 2 at the half. I've never seen a human being as huge as Priest in my entire life. He was just so huge both vertically and horizontally! He simply needed to tip-toe to lay the ball on the cylinder of the rim. Vroman was a white power forward who could attack from the top or post up and finish left and right. He scored 42 points in that game. Anyway, they adjusted in the 2nd half and our center CJ Giles got into foul trouble which gave us problems trying to stop their inside points. At the end, we lost by 12, not too bad.

Third game was against Lebanon, playing without their injured star Al-Khatib, we were able to control the game pretty much all throughout, until CJ Giles had a horrible fall and had to be taken out of the game. Again, we were massacred inside the paint by their big men. But we were able to hold the fort for a bit, until CJ came back and heroically lifted our team again to victory. That was a big upset because Lebanon was another powerhouse that was expected to finish at the top of the tournament.

4th game was against Kuwait, it was a no bearing game for us. Either way, we would have finished #2 in our Group A and would have to play the #3 in Group B which was Qatar. Quarterfinals was the following day. But Coach Rajko made it clear that he wanted to win the game against Kuwait! Qatar, on the other hand, didn't even try to win their no-bearing game and played zone all 40 minutes to rest their players. On our part, we played without CJ and myself due to a quad injury. We were down all throughout the game, and thanks to the Filipinos and Indonesians who were cheering for us, we made a last minute run that gave us the lead and victory. Truly an emotional victory!

Next day, the quarterfinals, a knockout game against Qatar. We felt we could beat them because they only had a 6-man rotation but almost all 6 were of African descent, tall and very experienced. Two of which, were imports. This was supposedly advantageous for us since we like to speed up the game and pressure the ball. We had control of the game pretty much throughout the game... until the 4th quarter. Again, CJ gets into foul trouble and they pound us inside. Then , their big man hits consecutive 3 pointers to beat the buzzer which swung the game to their favor. We made a small rally at the last minutes but it wasn't enough. There goes our hopes of entering the semis! Just like that!

After 4 well-played games, we suddenly found ourselves shooting blanks one shot after another. After shooting close to 50% the day before, our percentage was nothing close to that! Pressure? Fatigue? Maybe. That was our 3rd consecutive game and 5th game in 6 days. NO excuse though since all teams have similar schedules. But maybe more so for us, since our style of play is really to run, run and run. We just couldn't get it going that night. I myself finished the game with 0 points. What was really frustrating for me, was that i was in the bench for the most part of the game. I sat down around halfway through the 3rd quarter and never got the chance to get back in the game. Really disappointing especially since I love 4th quarters! And i usually finish games.

After being eliminated by Qatar, our next goal was to finish 5th and prove that we deserve to be in the upper field of teams. Despite being down, we were able to bounce back and we did it! We beat Korea again convincingly and then beat Indonesia in an unbelievable match in overtime. In my estimate, they made about 6 highly contested 3-pointers in the last 2 minutes to force overtime., of course with a little help from the refs since they're the home team. But still, they were pouring in miracle shots from all over.

Anyway, the FIBA Asia Champion's Cup was truly a wonderful, wonderful experience for us. We got a taste of international competition at its best. We played 6 great games out of 7 and it's just unfortunate that we had to play our one and only horrible game when it mattered the most. I believe in fate. I guess it's not meant to be yet. As they say, it's the loss that builds character. Our team is only in the beginning stages of our long journey ahead, although disappointing, i know that things can only get better as we aim towards that ultimate goal - the London Olympics. We are not forbidden to dream.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Going to Jakarta - FIBA Asia Champion's Cup 2009

Hi there, it's been a while since my last post, haven't found the time since i got back on tuesday. I'm writing this just after packing for our trip to Jakarta and before leaving for the airport. For those who haven't been reading the papers, we, the RP Smart Gilas team will be going to Jakarta for the FIBA Asia Champion's Cup. It's not a qualifier for any future tournament. The teams that are participating are Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Qatar and the Philippines. I'm missing one country as it slips my mind right now. Again, we have been placed on a very very competitive bracket (they call it the bracket of death) since we're are in the same group as Iran (Asian games champion and former team of Coach Rajko), South Korea, Lebanon and Kuwait. Each team is allowed to field 2 imports but we are fielding in just one (CJ Giles).

This is going to be my first official international competition where I will be included in the line up and I'm quite excited. Of course, there's pressure to win since this is an international competition and we will be bearing our national flag. Even if we're not expected to win, I'm looking forward to this experience, to actually feel what it will be like playing in the Asian Games in 2011 since the national team players of these Asian countries will most likely be these same guys who will be playing in Jakarta. Based on the lineups submitted, the teams will be fielding their top national players. Iran has two former NBA players as their imports including Priest Lauderdale who stands at 7'4 and played for the Atlanta Hawks. This competition will be very very tough so I ask for your prayers that we may have a successful and meaningful trip!

We may be a very young and inexperienced team, but one thing is for sure, we will give it our best shot and we will play with the biggest hearts!


P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers out there :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Playing against Antoine Walker

Hello again from Las Vegas, Sin city as they would call it. But not to worry, cause all we do here is eat and sleep in the hotel, take a shuttle van to the training site which is about 5 minutes away, then back again to the hotel to rest, then to the training site again. Pretty much the same schedule everyday, except for unusually lucky days were we get to walk to the strip and appreciate the incredibly attractive.... hotel structures with their glimmering lights :) Not quite what you thought!

Most of my teammates are first timers here and so i'd have to be the guide. Believe me, it's not easy to lead a big group nowadays because after a few meters of walking, we stop to take a picture. Then, walk a few meters then stop and take another picture again towards another direction, and again... and again. Plus, everybody practically has their own camera, which means each stop requires 7 to 10 cameras of the same view. It's fun being with these guys anyways :)

Going back to our training, we train twice a day, plus weights. We have games here too. Our first two games were against the same team, the IMPACT All-stars composed of ex-NBA players Antoine Walker (he's so huge and strong, felt like a rock) and Mamadou N'diaye plus young NBA prospects that will be joining the draft this year, Alonzo Gee and Robert Vaden, who are predicted to be picked within the top 12. In our first encounter, we lost by 13 points. We thought it wasn't too bad considering they were all so athletic and talented individually. We felt like little kids being tossed around with alley hoops and slamdunks coming from all over the place. But in our second encounter, we were amused by the results ourselves. We actually beat them by 6 points 128 - 122 after coming back from an 18-point deficit. Our outside shots started to click and that got us going. Plus we got a big lift from our import CJ Giles (6'11) who scored 19 points. CJ played with the Lakers in the summer league. 23 years old from Kansas University.

That game just proves that teamwork is definitely more effective than individual talent because there was no way we could match up with them individually. This makes me respect the system of Coach Rajko Toroman even more, despite criticisms from our own fellow Filipinos. I want to save that topic for another entry. For now, we're just thankful for that rare experience to play against such big name players.


Friday, April 24, 2009

NBA Playoffs and my newest Idol

I always love coming to the US during summer time, well not so much because of the training sessions but mainly because of the complete NBA coverage of the playoffs. All the games are televised either on TNT, ABC, or ESPN. Everyday they show around 2 or 3 games plus pre and post game analysis and highlights.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to watch my favorite player, Steve Nash, this year because they didn't make it to the playoffs. I'm really sad about that because I love the way he plays. But on the upside he now spends a lot of his time blogging and sharing his thoughts on the playoffs and other personal matters like his diet through his facebook profile. Another good thing also is that my other newest idol is still in the running and at the top of his game despite being 32 years old.

Yesterday, I caught part of game 2 of the Denver - New Orleans series. I still can't think of the appropriate words to describe the game of Chauncey Billups. He is my newest idol of course after Steve Nash. I've always been impressed with his style and basketball IQ ever since his Detroit years but these past few games for him have been incredibly amazing! He has been displaying impeccable leadership and experience on the court. When he joined the team last November, he turned it around and created a winning formula! He can score, create, defend but most of all, lead a team that has players with quite an attitude (i.e. Camelo and Kenyon Martin). He hasn't turned the ball over in 12 quarters consecutively. He hasn't missed a free throw (14/14) in the two games. And shot a remarkable 12/15 from 3-points. My favorite facet of his game, is that he doesn't force his shots and scores only when he needs to. Plus, he can create his own shot.

I'm currently rooting for the Lakers and now, Denver. And i won't mind if Denver will go on to the NBA Finals and beat my Lakers since it will be a wonderful fairy tale for Chauncey after spending his high school and college days in Colorado then now going back to his hometown and winning a championship.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wonderful Serbia

That's us in our travel suits at the PAL Centennial Airport preparing for our 24-hour long journey to Serbia
My roommate and I
The junction of the two major rivers that flow through Belgrade, the SAVA and the famous DANUBE
Kalemegdan, a prestigious Belgrade Fortress located by the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. It literally means battlefield and played a very significant role throughout the history of the city.
Kalemegdan park, one of the most beautiful parks in Belgrade.
Temple of Saint Sava, the first Archbishop of Serbia and founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church
View of Belgrade from the dining area in our hotel
City center of Novi Sad, a northern city of Serbia
The National Museum and the National Theatre by the Republic Square. Beside it is Knez Mihailova Street with numerous cafes, restaurants and shops.
Me and the beautiful cherry blossoms at the start of spring time

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Jeepney

Chris Tiu is in The Jeepney. Get your copy of Volume 5.


"The Jeepney Magazine" is a Filipino publication produced by the Urban Opportunities for Change, Foundation Inc.

The Jeepney Magazine has two main goals:

The first is the presentation of the stories and hearts of the Filipino poor. It is our intent to communicate the needs, struggles and more importantly, the victories in the midst of those struggles, of homeless people, to an audience that can make change happen.

The second is the provision of jobs, with dignity, meeting or exceeding the Philippine minimum wage. The provision of jobs, is modeled by the over two hundred autonomous street papers in the world today. The vendors of these papers receive fifty to ninety percent of the papers cover price. If the magazine sells @ P100, about 50 to 90 pesos goes to the vendor as his/her income and the remainder is retained for the expenses incurred in the publishing of the magazine.


I believe there was a vendor in Eastwood but I heard he might be transferring to Glorietta. I'll try to find out more details myself.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hello from Serbia

After playing 4 games here in Serbia, we finally won our last 2. Like i wrote about earlier, we lost our first game big time. Our 2nd game wasn't so bad but we still lost by 3 points due to bad breaks in the last few seconds. Our 3rd game, we won by around 10 points. And today, we won again by 40 points, against a much younger and less experienced team. Tomorrow will be the real test, we're playing the 4th best team in Serbia with an import and some national players.

Overall, i think that we are improving and gaining much needed experience. But moreover, we are able to bond with one another. For those who are still unaware, my current teammates are JV Casio (DLSU), Marc Barocca (FEU), Dylan Ababou (UST), Mac Baracael (FEU), RJ Jazul (Letran), Rey Guevarra (Letran), Jason Ballesteros (San Sebastian), Greg Slaughter (UV), Magi Sison (UP), JR Cawaling (FEU), Aldrich Ramos (FEU), Ryan Buenafe (who is not with us in Serbia), and Ford Arao who is currently part of the training pool. Despite coming from different backgrounds, the atmosphere within the team is really fun and enjoyable! Dylan Ababou is our team clown with an album of jokes. JV is indeed quiet and humble as advertised.

Serbia is a beautiful city. The food is yummy! Lots of meat, perfect for me. Weather is very comfortable at the moment, around 20 degrees. No traffic. For those who love the nightlife, this place is perfect for you. Too bad we're here for basketball games! We've also had the chance to go around the city center with shops and cafes. Funny, one of our coaches and Jason were attacked by a gypsy! Quite scary actually. I'll try to post pictures soon. That's all for now. Good night!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Humbling Experience

We just played against a local professional team here in Serbia and lost by 30 points. I can't pronounce nor remember the team name. All i know is that they are one of the top teams here in Serbia and made it to the 'Super League' in Eastern Europe. They were just so tall, smart and fundamentally sound. Moreover, they play as a team so well. They set great screens and they move really efficiently. The wingman i was guarding was 6'6 and with African origins. He was their import. And when he was substituted, i would guard another guy who was about 6'4. I'm officially 5'10. Their centers stood at around 6'10 and are quite athletic for their size. Anyway, the style of their games is just so different from the way we play back home in Manila and the way the Americans play in the NBA. Pass, pass, pass, shoot! No non-sense dribbling.

Before coming here to Serbia, we played Talk and Text for an exhibition game and beat them by 20 points. We felt that we were improving, but when we played here... it was just a wake up call and a realization on the level of basketball internationally.

Honestly, we didn't play to the level we're supposed to be playing because probably, we were in awe and impressed but I think if we played our game against this Serbian team, we would have lost by just around 10 to 15 points. Still bad i know! The tactics we observe from the teams here are really so fundamental but we take them for granted. Very unselfish basketball despite clear advantages for them in terms of match ups. The guy i was guarding could have easily posted me up (which most coaches in the Philippines would have done) but they respected their system. Very disciplined! Too bad for us we had to play them in our first game here in Serbia. I heard the rest of our games coming up won't be as strong as that team but still very very tough. We have 7 games in 8 days here. So another game coming up.

Before going to bed last night, i was talking to my roommate JV and we agreed that this was truly a humbling experience for us but fortunately, we have a long term program and a great coach who, we believe, can bring out our potentials to the fullest.

P.S. I'll try to find a way to post pics from here because i don't have my laptop, just a public computer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hi from Serbia

When i tell people that i'm going to Serbia, i always get a reply 'where is that? why are you going there?' Well , it is the hometown of our head coach Rajko Toroman and he has organized several exhibition games with professional teams here. Formerly known as Yugoslavia, it was split up to form the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. In 2006, both Serbia and Montenegro declared independence.

It is our 2nd day here in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Glad to have arrived in one piece despite the extremely tiring jetsetting, a total of 24 hours which included stops in Hong Kong and Frankfurt. Weather is beautiful ranging from 10 degrees to 15 degrees and relatively quiet and laid back for a capital city. Our hotel is called the Srbija Hotel, i would say it's about 3-star with decent rooms. But my favorite is the free use of internet in the lobby area with a total of 6 computers. Most of us players hang out here during our free time. Food is served in the 18th floor of the hotel and we all eat together, players in one table, coaching staff in another.

Rooming assignments were assigned by coach. Two to a room. Guess who my room mate is! No other than JVee Casio :) After this whole Ateneo-La Salle fairytale, we're now teammates/roommates in the National Team AND in Hapee in the PBL. Coincidence? Such a nice, silent and humble guy with occasional humorous comments! Cool huh!?

We arrived 12 midnight of Saturday and spent Saturday resting most of the time during the day. We had a light practice in the afternoon then went for a walk in the city center at night. Because of our size and Asian features, we kinda stood out in the crowd and many would have a curious glance at us? I guess it's because of the scarcity of tourist and foreigners in this city. Plus we have players who are 6'6, 6'7, 7'0. Quite tall compared to the average Serbian but nothing compared to the Serbian basketball players.

For today, we just have practice and our last chance to go around the city tonight because we will be having games everyday starting tomorrow! I'll update you soon!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Off to Serbia

Hello there, i'll be flying to Serbia in a few hours with the Smart Gilas National Team for training and games. I hope to find internet access over there so i can update you guys. Or better yet, subscribe to my fanatxt :) it's easier that way. See ya!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Milo Wellness Commercial

Hello, I finally got hold of a soft copy file of the Milo TVC that some of you have been asking me to upload :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Hi it's me again after 3 weeks! Actually I've been a bit lazy lately to exercise my brain cells and articulate various thoughts. Honestly, I can't think of any interesting topic to write about. Ergo, I will do my best to touch on the many questions that I have been receiving through this blog and the FANATXT. Thanks to those who continue to subscribe btw :)

First, the latest MILO commercial. Yes, it is not my voice. I initially did the voice over but because of some internal matters, they had to use a dubber at the last minute. But , I already did the voice over again and I believe it was approved and should be airing with my voice pretty soon.... i hope! Nevertheless, the essence of the commercial doesn't change. Glad you guys liked it!

Next, many have been wondering what I've been up to lately. Well, the usual, training with the National Team, hosting and doing some business on the side. But one thing that's really kept me busy this past month is my involvement in socio-civic activities. Once the PBL Conference starts again this summer, I won't have much of a life outside of basketball again. Going back, there are several causes that I truly wish to advocate. That's why I've been doing my best to reach out to them. Sadly, we cannot accommodate them all.

Recently, Volvo had its Voice of Leadership culmination activity with an elocution contest where I was the host and ambassador. The participants were amazing with the content and delivery of their speeches. But the highlight of the event for me was being able to watch Lea Salonga perform just a few meters from me and meet her for the first time! I was being teased non-stop after the event for appearing so star struck on stage! I guess she's one of the very few local personalities who can truly mesmerize me because I'm a huge fan hers and I love watching musical plays especially those like Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and others where she played major roles.

During Valentines Day, together with my family and friends, we made an effort to experience the life of a construction worker for about 3 hours with the Habitat for Humanity group. Wasn't easy at all! But an eye opener indeed. I hope that more Filipinos can get involved not just in building homes but in building communities and individuals with values as well.

I'm also helping out the Get Caught Reading campaign with their promo materials to hopefully encourage the youth to love reading because I believe that reading (the right materials) is such a powerful weapon in developing an individual as well as nation building! Like what Jose Rizal said himself, "a pen is mightier than the sword..." Coincidentally, I am currently reading a book entitled "Lolo Jose", a very detailed description of the life of our national hero coming straight from the point of view of his very own grand niece, Asuncion Lopez Bantug. The book was given to me but it might be available in some bookstores. Very interesting!

I've also done my rounds in various schools giving short talks and messages about various topics. I've visited, of course, the Ateneo High School, Southridge, Philippine Science High School and Northfield among others. But I think I'll have to put those on hold first as my commitments are starting to pile up again. So, these are the things that's been keeping me pre-occupied lately! From youth leadership, to perseverance, to education, to Christ, and whatever other topics I've been chattering about, I sure hope that I'm making sense and getting through to them! So do you still want to hear about what's going on with me?? :) haha!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lee Wei Ling's Thoughts on the current crisis

Here is an article written by Lee Wei Ling, daughter of Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew, in the Sunday Times in Singapore. Some beautiful insights about the economic crisis and giving it a different perspective. I totally agree with her sentiments.

In 2007, in an end-of-year message to the staff of the National Neuroscience
Institute, I wrote: 'Whilst boom time in the public sector is never as
booming as in the private sector, let us not forget that boom time is
eventually followed by slump time. Slump time in the public sector is always
less painful compared to the private sector.'

Slump time has arrived with a bang.

While I worry about the poorer Singaporeans who will be hit hard, perhaps
this recession has come at an opportune time for many of us. It will give us
an incentive to reconsider our priorities in life.

Decades of the good life have made us soft. The wealthy especially, but also
the middle class in Singapore, have had it so good for so long, what they
once considered luxuries, they now think of as necessities.

A mobile phone, for instance, is now a statement about who you are, not just
a piece of equipment for communication. Hence many people buy the latest
model though their existing mobile phones are still in perfect working

A Mercedes-Benz is no longer adequate as a status symbol. For millionaires
who wish to show the world they have taste, a Ferrari or a Porsche is deemed
more appropriate. The same attitude influences the choice of attire and accessories. I still
find it hard to believe that there are people carrying handbags that cost
more than thrice the monthly income of a bus driver, and many more times
that of the foreign worker labouring in the hot sun, risking his life to
construct luxury condominiums he will never have a chance to live in.
The media encourages and amplifies this ostentatious consumption. Perhaps it
is good to encourage people to spend more because this will prevent the
recession from getting worse. I am not an economist, but wasn't that the
root cause of the current crisis - Americans spending more than they could
afford to?

I am not a particularly spiritual person. I don't believe in the
supernatural and I don't think I have a soul that will survive my death. But
as I view the crass materialism around me, I am reminded of what my mother
once told me: 'Suffering and deprivation is good for the soul.'

My family is not poor, but we have been brought up to be frugal. My parents
and I live in the same house that my paternal grandparents and their
children moved into after World War II in 1945. It is a big house by today's
standards, but it is simple - in fact, almost to the point of being shabby.
Those who see it for the first time are astonished that Minister Mentor Lee
Kuan Yew's home is so humble. But it is a comfortable house, a home we have
got used to. Though it does look shabby compared to the new mansions on our
street, we are not bothered by the comparison.

Most of the world and much of Singapore will lament the economic downturn.
We have been told to tighten our belts. There will undoubtedly be suffering,
which we must try our best to ameliorate.

But I personally think the hard times will hold a timely lesson for many
Singaporeans, especially those born after 1970 who have never lived through
difficult times.
No matter how poor you are in Singapore , the authorities and social groups
do try to ensure you have shelter and food. Nobody starves in Singapore .
Many of those who are currently living in mansions and enjoying a luxurious
lifestyle will probably still be able to do so, even if they might have to
downgrade from wines costing $20,000 a bottle to $10,000 a bottle. They
would hardly notice the difference.
Being wealthy is not a sin. It cannot be in a capitalist market economy.
Enjoying the fruits of one's own labour is one's prerogative and I have no
right to chastise those who choose to live luxuriously.
But if one is blinded by materialism, there would be no end to wanting and
hankering. After the Ferrari, what next? An Aston Martin? After the Hermes
Birkin handbag, what can one upgrade to?

Neither an Aston Martin nor an Hermes Birkin can make us truly happy or
contented. They are like dust, a fog obscuring the true meaning of life, and
can be blown away in the twinkling of an eye.
When the end approaches and we look back on our lives, will we regret the
latest mobile phone or luxury car that we did not acquire? Or would we
prefer to die at peace with ourselves, knowing that we have lived lives
filled with love, friendship and goodwill, that we have helped some of our
fellow voyagers along the way and that we have tried our best to leave this
world a slightly better place than how we found it?
We know which is the correct choice - and it is within our power to make
that choice.

In this new year, burdened as it is with the problems of the year that has
just ended, let us again try to choose wisely.
To a considerable degree, our happiness is within our own control, and we
should not follow the herd blindly.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Great Things Start from Small Beginnings..."

This phrase probably rings a bell to many of you. Yes, that catchy line together with the two words "MILO everyday" will always be engrained in our heads. Sometimes it even gives me the 'last song syndrome'. That's the product of a very effective marketing campaign that MILO has created over the years. Despite rarely watching TV while i was growing up, i somehow came across that Milo jingle one way or another.

Some of you have already seen my latest MILO commercial together with Japoy Lizardo and Nica Calapatan. So far, I've received all very positive feedbacks and I am so delighted! People have been congratulating me but I tell them that it's indeed the ingenuity of the director (probably the best in the industry), the production team as well as the agency who conceptualized the storyboard. As talents in the commercial, our role was to simply be ourselves, act a little and be patient during the shooting dates. It took several days to complete this masterpiece. Those in the industry have been telling me that it's the best Milo commercial they have ever seen! I don't know about that but I'm glad to be part of it.

Going back to the shoot, my scenes alone already required 3 different locations. I spent a day and a half completing my part alone. And i had to do it without my contact lenses because of an infected eye. How timely! I could hardly see the faces of the kids and people around me, mostly shapes only. Our first location was in Pila, Laguna, a very quiet town that clearly depicts the influence of Spanish architecture. Our call time was at 430am, so we had to leave Manila at about 3am. For my 2nd day, we shot in the pier area in Manila and in Sta Cruz. It was truly fun experience! Especially getting to interact with the kids. They were very 'makulit' and kept asking me questions. But having them around and looking at you as their idol, it really inspires me to do good and preach them the right values!

I grew up with Milo. I joined the Milo BEST basketball clinic when I was 7 years old. I joined the Milo tournaments, 3 years in SBP and 2 years in Paserelle while I was studying in Xavier. I remember the Milo trucks that gave out free MILO, we all loved that! I got to travel around the Philippines at a very early age to compete with the champions of the other provinces. It was an experience that molded me to become who I am today. Those were the days when you would play bigger and stronger kids but that gave me the courage to keep competing and become a better player. I learned the value of discipline and managing my time wisely as well!

It's an honor to be chosen as one of MILOs ambassador and I am truly grateful! Their thrust is one that I agree with 100%, building character and champions through sports! Now, watch this link and I would appreciate your feedback. :)

MILO Mondial


Sunday, January 25, 2009

When things get tough, just smile :)

I cannot remember the last time i fouled out in a basketball game. Maybe the last time was in high school. After playing 5 years of UAAP games and other college leagues, I never fouled out. And just in my 3rd PBL game, where the referees supposedly allow significant contact to take place before calling a foul, I was left helpless in the bench practically throughout the most part of 4th quarter. That was the thought that came into my head as soon as i sat in the bench after being given my 5th foul in our game a while ago against Harbor Center. When I push and bump the opponent, they don't call fouls. But when i try to avoid the opponent, i get called for the foul.

For those who did watch the game, i couldn't help but laugh and smile out of extreme frustration with the way referee #21 was picking on me the entire game. In the 3rd quarter, i get slapped in the wrist by Barua while attempting a 3-pointer, it misses the rim, no foul. Then they have a fast break attempt and I avoid Barua, he misses the shot but then a whistle blows. My 4th foul care of ref #21. I ask him how that became a foul and he said i hit Barua in his arm. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, he probably didn't see it. Bad call. So during the free throw attempt, i tell him nicely to check the replay and he says they review the tapes for mis-calls after every game. Deep inside I was thinking, "wow, what can reviewing the games do now that i have my 4th foul in the 3rd quarter?" So i sit on the bench til around the 7 minute mark of the 4th quarter...

Lead now balloons to double digits and Coach G calls me to get inside the court. After one minute, right in front of the Harbour bench, Ben Fernandez drives tries to absorb contact from me, but i avoid him with my hands raised and he looses his balance and throws the ball out of bounds. A whistle blows, I look to my right and again it's ref #21 who calls a blocking foul on me. My 5th foul. I'm out of the game. I was saying to myself "Is he serious?? is this real??" Our coaching staff goes bezerk! Hapee fans go wild. I could see the faces, talagang nalugi! I knew that reasoning out could not reverse the call anyway, so i just smiled it out and walked to the bench to try to cool me down. I've experienced poor officiating many many times, but normally it would be against a team and not a specific person. But this one seemed like a personal matter. Very unusual.

At the end of the day, we lost to the better team. I'm not saying that the outcome of the game would have changed if i stayed on and finished the game. We were down by like 6 or 8 or 10 points when that happened. Obviously, Harbour played well and they deserved to win. But at least we gave them a tough fight and the effort was there. We missed a lot of easy shots too!

In fact, from the owner, to the players, to the utility boys of Harbour, all of them are friends and or acquaintances. I was even invited by boss Mikee Romero to join them in the RP-Harbour team that participated in the 2007 SEA Games. There, I was teammates with players like Al Vergara and Boyet Bautista. I also currently train with Mark Barroca and JR Cawaling in the National Team pool under coach Toroman. That's why I have high regard for their team and I know what they are capable of.

It just really puzzles me why situations like this can occur. I don't question the integrity of the PBL because I know it is run well by professionals with good moral character. My only wish is that this game be investigated and reviewed to avoid future similar instances. And i pray that ref #21 just made two honest mistakes, and nothing more! For me, I think it's a more noble deed to just admit that a mistake was made rather than to try to reason out and defend oneself. After all, it's just a game and there's more to life than just winning a basketball game. (Except if it's against DLSU! Haha kidding!)

I'm not writing this to criticize or put down any particular person. That's not what this blog site is for. That's why I didn't put the name of ref #21. Let's just leave it at that. I merely wrote this entry so i can vent out and share my thoughts. It's hard to keep it in all by myself, especially since it's Chinese New Year and we all want to celebrate and wish for another prosperous year. At least now I can sleep well, relax and most of all, SMILE :) Thanks for listening!

To all the Chinoys, Happy Year of the OX!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


By the way, I now have a new way of communicating with you guys so I don't have to keep logging in my computer to update you through this blog. I can just send daily updates through my phone which will go directly to your phones. Cool? It's called Fanatxt. You just have to key in "Christiu" and send to 4627 . It only costs 2.50 pesos and you will receive updates from me. I'll try to text you guys around 2 to 3 times a day. If you have questions, you can also type CHRISTIU (your message) and send to 4627. I'll try to reply as much as possible. It's something new to me, it was just activated this Monday and i find it really cool. Hope you guys subscribe :)

A HAPEE first Game

Again, I have to apologize for a very very long disappearance. I've been busy as usual trying to finish all my commitments and also getting back in playing shape. I've practiced with the National team a couple of times and also with Hapee Complete Protectors, as some of you already know. In fact, I've played my first game already which was a do-or-die game. Fortunately, we won and advanced to the semi-finals against Harbour Center. Game 1 is tomorrow at 3pm in Ynares Center in Pasig. Please watch if you can! :) We need a lot of support!

Anyway, my first game was pretty rusty. I missed shots and made some mistakes but we won, so it's all good and we're all very HAPEE! :) I honestly thought that playing the PBL would be very different from the UAAP but basing it on the last game, it was not very far. The intensity was high for both teams and there was a strong desire to win! Aside from the smaller crowds and physicality of the game, both the UAAP and PBL are fun for me! I'd like to think i'm not disillusioned based on what previous players have been telling me about the PBL or PBA.

Many have been asking me what i'm gonna do next in my life. I've decided that I want to play basketball for another couple of years, of course if God wills it. I haven't decided whether I will be joining the PBA draft or the National Team instead. I'd appreciate it if you can give your comments and opinion regarding that matter. Here are some more details: the PBA draft is going to be around August and of course, nobody is sure to be drafted. On the other hand, the RP team is inviting me to join the them for 3-year term, quite similar to that of a PBA team. In terms of compensation, both are pretty much the same. It is this National team that will join the 2011 Asian Games to try to qualify for the Olympics, that's the ultimate goal. There are many other pros and cons to be taken into consideration, but let's just leave it at that for the meantime.

Thanks for reading again :) I'll try to post more often from now on.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!! Here's 2008 in Review

2008 will surely be marked as a milestone year for many. There are so many memorable events that occurred and some not so memorable ones. Let's take a look at some highlights of the past year.

Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President of the world's most powerful nation defeating Republican John McCain.

Earthquake in China's Sichuan province kills 70,000 and leaves millions homeless.

Cyclone hits Burma and kills about 100,000.

Sub-prime crisis. Wall Street collapses. Fall of giants Lehman and Bear Stearns.

Philippine Peso broke the 50:1 barrier to the dollar.

Oil prices reached $147 per barrel

Beijing produced the world's greatest show during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.

Cancer victim Randy Pausch gave life lessons, via YouTube, to millions. He died in July.

Russia invades Georgia causing global anxiety.

OJ Simpson is sentenced again for robbing a hotel in Las Vegas.

Pope Benedict 16th pays his first visit to the US and claims that American power won't solve religious conflict but American values might.

The Dark Knight grosses $988 million and makes Hollywood's 4th biggest hit in history.

New York Giants, with quarterback Eli Manning, upset undefeated New England Patriots in the NFL Superbowl.

Tiger Woods played the greatest golf game of his life by beating Rocco Mediate in the US Open by a comeback victory with an ACL.

Boston Celtics defeat the LA Lakers in a fantastic finals series between the NBA's two greatest rivals.

Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer in the greatest tennis seesaw Wimbledon finals in 5 hours.

Michael Phelps sets a world record by winning 8 golds including a come from behind split second victory.

Usain Bolt set another world record by winning both the 100-m and 200-m sprints in world-record times.

Manny Pacquiao wins his fourth title in four different divisions by defeating Diaz in June. He also embarrassed the Golden Boy in December 6 and was named the No. 1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world.

And lastly, my favorite, Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles defeat arch-rival de la Salle Green Archers in the 71st season of the UAAP. :)

Obviously 2008 was a great year for sports but it also hosted some tragic events. I guess at this point in time, we just have to be grateful to the Lord for all the blessings that have come our way during the past year. And at the same time, it is a time to reflect and learn from the lessons of the past in the hopes of improving ourselves, our country and our relationships with people and most of all, with God for the coming year. Let us make 2009 another milestone year! Happy New Year to you all! :)