While other schools like La Salle and UP tried to recruit him, Tyler Tio chose Ateneo because of several reasons close to his heart.
“First reason is education, because the course I wanted was there, which is Management Economics,” he said. “My siblings went to Ateneo, so I was kind of used to the culture na. Easier transition for me.”
It also helped that the Katipunan squad was able to enlist the services of coach Tab Baldwin, the Gilas Pilipinas mentor who currently is a consultant for the Blue Eagles.
“Thats one of the reasons why I chose Ateneo. I know that in every practice, I will learn a lot from them,” he added.
As one of the most sought-after recruits in next season’s batch, Tio is expected to be a solid player on court for Ateneo.
But the Filipino-Canadian said his priority remains his academics.
“My thing is basketball should be secondary to education,” he said. “Aside from that, I wanted to take on a bigger challenge. You cannot play basketball forever. So Plan A is education, Plan B is basketball.”
Entering a team flush with rising stars and blue-chip rookies in his position, the Xavier School alum relishes the challenge.
Among cagers competing at the guard spot are incumbents Adrian Wong, Matt Nieto, Hubert Cani and Jerie Pingoy, with incoming freshman Jolo Mendoza also tipped to crowd them.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge because Ateneo is very guard-heavy,” he shared. “But it’s going to be make me a better player. It’s just a positive for me. I don’t look at it as a negative that a lot of people play my position.” — By Arylle Magtalas