For Rain or Shine, nobody but Tiu

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 22 2012 01:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2012 03:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Rain or Shine had no one else in mind but Chris Tiu for the first round of last Sunday's PBA rookie draft at Robinsons Place.

"The plan was to just wait for our turn. If Chris Tiu was still available, we draft him," said Rain or Shine co-owner Raymund Yu.

"Otherwise, we would have traded our first pick to Meralco for a future draft pick,"he said over the phone yesterday.

"Hindi na sana kami kukuha sa first round kung hindi si Chris Tiu (We wouldn't have exercised our pick in the first round if it wasn't Chris Tiu)," added Yu.

The newly crowned PBA Governors Cup champion was to pick No. 7 in the first round, and the Elasto Painters felt they had very little chance on Tiu.

So, they waited and kept their fingers crossed.

Yu, who owns the PBA franchise together with long-time business partner Terry Que, was not at the draft Sunday afternoon.

He was somewhere else, and said he was just being updated of the developments by assistant coach Caloy Garcia through his mobile phone.

It was no surprise that 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo was drafted first by Petron, followed by NCAA superstar Calvin Abueva second by Alaska Milk.

Then came Petron which got Alex Mallari, Meralco which took in Cliff Hodge, Barako Bull for Aldrech Ramos and crowd favorite Ginebra for Christopher Ellis.

The Elasto Painters, including head coach Yeng Guiao, couldn’t believe that suddenly, they were looking at the sweet-shooting Tiu.

"Nagulat kami (We were surprised)," said Yu. "We thought that Tiu would have been gone by the fifth pick."

"We just grabbed the opportunity," said Guiao.

Yu said Rain or Shine players will start practicing on Aug. 27, and they expect to sit down with the former team captain of Ateneo and Smart Gilas Philippines.

Yu said they are still thinking of what to offer Tiu. Rookies in the PBA are allowed a maximum salary of P150,000 a month.

"We will see what's right. We will talk things over," said Yu.

Tiu didn't mind being drafted longer than expected. He said he's happy to be reunited with point guard TY Tang, his old buddy at Xavier School.

"I'm so happy," he said.

Everybody's happy with Rain or Shine.