It has always been a concern for True Blue Ateneo de Manila followers what the loss of Chris Tiu might mean to them. Tiu, the former King Eagle has left the University last season after topping their arch nemesis De La Salle University Green Archers by sweeping them 4-0 in the UAAP Season and a 2-0 in the finals.
Ateneo’s King Eagle, Christ Tiu’s present was not really felt during one of the occassions where he scored only two points the whole game, and still the Eagles were able to pull the game away and continue their winning streak, ending the season in the 71st UAAP with a win-loss ratio of 13W and a single loss which accounts to a victorious game in favor of the FEU Tamaraws during the first round assignment when these two have met back then.
The presence of Center Rabeh Al-Hussaini might account towards the Ateneo de Manila strength and competitiveness. Even Rookie Super Star Ryan Buenafe was missing for most part of the FilOil yet they continue their winning performances against though teams like FEU which was a sneak preview on how the 72nd UAAP Finals might look like. Veteran Jai Reyes and Eric Salamat add much flare to the team both in the offense and the defense and their newest addition Oping Sumalinog might be a sound treat for the other teams that will participate in the UAAP.
It’s still difficult to call if Ateneo is still the same Ateneo it was before with the presence of the all-mighty-hailed Chris Tiu, but one thing is for sure, one thing that hasn’t changed the Ateneo way of playing the game is doing that extra pass and finding that open man. Even with the absence of Tiu, Ryan Buenafe -who is our favorite player here- might be one of the key players to lead Ateneo to a back to back UAAP victory.
But honestly, what do you think are the Blue Eagles still competitive without Chris Tiu?