“I hope Chris Tiu will still be available,” Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen told InterAKTV in a telephone interview.
Ginebra is picking sixth and eighth in the first round, and Tanquingcen said the team is hoping to get a guard and a frontliner to boost the squad, making Tiu a perfect fit.
The former SMART-Gilas Pilipinas team captain seems to like the idea too.
“I would love to play for Ginebra. It’s a historical team where some of the greatest players played,” Tiu wrote in a text message. “I appreciate the trust of the coaches and management. We don’t know what will happen on Sunday. I’m excited and nervous.”
But Tiu might not be available for Ginebra on Sunday, with four teams picking ahead of Ginebra. Apart from his on-court ability, he brings a sizeable following among fans that should help boost any squad in the league.
Barako Bull, which picks one spot ahead of Ginebra, has also expressed interest on Tiu.
“Nabanggit din namin sa discussion ng coaches si Chris Tiu and in my opinion, if ever he will be available at No. 5, we might consider him as well,” said Barako Bull assistant coach Bong Ramos.
InterAKTV’s latest mock draft pegs Tiu to be drafted third by Petron.
Another player who has caught Tanquingcen’s eye is Keith Jensen, a rugged Filipino-American forward who has spent the past season with the PBA D-League’s Big Chill squad.
But Tanquingcen said that the team could still engage in trades that might end up including one of Ginebra’s picks.
“It’s a possibility considering we need to unload players,” said Tanquingcen. “There are redundancies in position, so we really have to move players. Don’t be surprised if trades will be worked out during draft day.”