Former national team stalwart Chris Tiu says finally having a PBA-sanctioned tournament for women is a good start for women’s basketball and is good for both the players and the national team.
“I like the idea of giving them the chance to compete at a high level. There are going to be growing pains but just the fact there is an initiative to promote women’s basketball definitely is a good start,” Tiu, the former Smart-Gilas captain, said.
He added it may only be a 3-on-3 game for now, but he hopes it could grow into a full 5-on-5 game given the talent the country has in women’s basketball and the timing of its success recently in the international scene.
“Hopefully later on you can grow the league and have a full 5-on-5 game for the women. Internationally, we saw how the national team has also improved and elevated to Division I status in FIBA Asia,” he shared.
“There are positive signs and basketball is a game we love. Men, women, it doesn’t matter. We love watching, we love playing so we have to give these girls a chance.”
Your PBA Dickies 3×3 women's tournament participants pic.twitter.com/87YaYboLmR
— Leviron James (@levironjames) October 21, 2015
Tiu’s cousin, Ish Tiu was also a former member of Perlas Pilipinas while his aunt Cynthia Tiu has been actively promoting the sport via basketball clinics and tournaments.
The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters guard also said having a professional level tournament gives players coming out of college a chance to compete, and, hopefully in the long run, give them a home.
“For the longest time at least for women’s basketball, after the college level, that is pretty much it for them. Here you are giving them a chance to make a living possibly, while playing professional basketball,” he said.
The Philippines’ rival countries in Southeast Asia like Malaysia and Thailand both have women’s leagues. India also bolsters a developmental league while powerhouse nation China have the women’s CBA counterpart.
“It is good for the sport and not just for the players who are playing but the national team as well. They got a chance to play at a high level of competition. For sure it is going to help the national team as well. I like to see how it pans out and we are here to support that.”
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