Chris Tiu to Play for China?

WUHAN, China — Rumors are currently circulating that Smart Gilas team captain Chris Tiu is being offered by FIBA 2011 host country China to play for them on next year’s tourney.

After their 75-60 victory against the Philippines last Friday, China head coach Bob Donewald Jr. has nothing but praise for our country’s team. “I believe that your squad has vastly improved over the years. It won’t be long before the Philippines becomes a powerhouse in Asia, or even the world.”

After trailing for 26 points in the first half of their encounter, Smart Gilas was able to cut down the deficit to only 15 points at the buzzer. With the Chinese player’s definite height advantage, the National’s task was no walk in the park. Scoring double digits to trim the deficit for our country was naturalized player Marcus Douthit, who had 17 points. Chris Tiu on the other hand, was the only other player on our squad to score double digits with 12 points.

In fact, an unnamed source who was at the China – Philippines match-up can’t help but notice that Chinese Scouts around the venue were nodding to each other every time Chris Tiu  scores or dribbles the ball down court. They were even seen taking video footage and jotting down notes throughout the match.

“I even saw the scouts use both index fingers and pointing it to the tip of their eyes and nodding simultaneously at one point that Chris had the ball. I think they figured out that Chris had Chinese lineage due to his chinky eyes,” said the source.  This reporter believes that having a Chinese surname also helped him get noticed by the scouts as well.

We were unable to get comments of both sides on this issue as of this writing.

We’ll bring you updates as soon as both sides are available for interviews.

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