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After heartbreaks, a championship finally comes in Charles Tiu’s way


As the confetti rained inside the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City Thursday night, all of the Go for Gold Scratchers stormed the center court with so much joy. They have just won the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup title.

One of those totally happy with the achievement was Go for Gold head coach Charles Tiu, as he is now enjoying his first-ever championship as a head coach and his first-ever championship in the developmental league.

“It’s a good feeling honestly,” said Tiu moments after their title-clinching 102-92 victory over conference MVP Jeff Viernes and the Che’lu Bar and Grill Revellers. “I’m very happy that we won this championship.”

It may just be a D-League title for some, but for Tiu, it truly means a lot for him.

2016-Merlion-Cup-Mighty-Shanghai-Sharks-Kiefer-Ravena-x-Jimmer-Freddette After heartbreaks, a championship finally comes in Charles Tiu's way Basketball News PBA D-League  - philippine sports newsWhen Tiu took over Mighty Sports-Philippines’ head coaching reins from veteran mentor Bo Perasol back in 2016 prior to the ball club’s participation in the Merlion Cup in Singapore, such move actually raised eyebrows.

For some, they were uncertain how the young tactician would deliver. Tiu, who has Rajko Toroman as one of his mentors, has always been an assistant coach, and the Merlion Cup will be his first foray into being a head coach.

With all the criticisms, Tiu delivered. Having a team that has the likes of eventual PBA stars Kiefer Ravena and Matthew Wright plus Marcus Douthit and Al Thornton, Mighty Sports stormed its’ way to the championship.

But unfortunately, Jimmer Fredette happened.

The former NBA player got fouled by Mighty as he was on the act of shooting from beyond the arc. Fredette got sent to the line, and he calmly sank all of his three freebies with no time left to lift the Shanghai Sharks to the 78-77 win.

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For Tiu, that was totally a heartbreaker. Had Mighty kept its’ hold of the lead and won at the end, he could’ve sent a strong message to those who doubted him.

Tiu had a shot at redemption months after the Merlion Cup, as Mighty took part in the 2017 Dubai Invitational Basketball Tournament. And just like the team he had in Singapore, he had a formidable unit at his disposal.

With NBAer Hasheem Thabeet and Justin Brownlee reinforcing the team, and with local stars Ravena and Jeron Teng, expectations for Mighty to perform against seasoned teams in Asia and Africa have shot up so high.

But they were not able to do so.

Despite being so rich in talent and experience, Mighty could not fare well against their taller and more seasoned counterparts. In the six games they played, the Filipino ball club only managed to collect one win.

That Dubai stint, obviously, was yet another disappointment for Tiu.

This recent championship victory of Tiu serves as a perfect atonement for all the disappointments he had faced. Once scrutinized due to his failures, Tiu, who has been coaching for nearly a decade, has proven that he is a winner.

But he’s not taking all the credit. Tiu is nothing but grateful for his Scratchers, as they were the ones who made the sweet championship possible.

“I really felt from the start we’re the best team in this conference not because of me but because of the players — the players are really that talented,” said Tiu, whose team had leaders in ex-pro Gab Banal and UP star Paul Desiderio.

“They actually played like they wanted it more, so I really appreciate the fact that they gave it their all today.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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