Geo Chiu in action for Batang Gilas in the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-16 World Cup.
FIBA.com
Geo Chiu on staying home in Ateneo
Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - April 22, 2019 - 10:46am

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo Blue Eaglets and Batang Gilas center Geo Chiu has decided to stay in Loyola Heights and go to Ateneo de Manila University for college.

Chiu, who was part of UAAP Season 80 champions Ateneo Blue Eaglets along with Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, Dave Ildefonso, Joaqui Manuel and Jason Credo, admitted that pondered about a move to another school. 

“It was a tough decision,” bared the 6’8,” Chiu who is still growing. “I considered going to other schools that also have good programs. I reevaluated and set my priorities which made me decide to stay in Ateneo. Education is one, and I already felt at home.”

Chiu was studying at Pace Academy in Quezon City when then Blue Eaglets coaches Yuri Escueta and Jai Reyes spotted him. A few weeks after that, Pace was playing in a match at the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Intramuros when former Ateneo high school and now University of the East Red Warriors coach Joe Silva invited him to train with the Blue Eaglets. 

“I started training with Coach Danny (Ildefonso, who was also with the Blue Eaglets coaching staff during that time) twice a week. By the end of the year, I learned so much and realized that there’s more room for improvement. It was a real honor and privilege to be trained by Coach Danny.” 

Eventually, he moved. Just as it was in 2016, it wasn’t an easy decision to move. 

“It was a hard decision to make,” reflected Geo. “But it’s for the best. I honestly didn’t want to leave Pace, but moving to Ateneo gave me a chance to study there and play in the UAAP, which is on my bucket list. My parents also advised me that the move will open doors for bigger opportunities in the future.”

And after going to back-to-back UAAP juniors finals and graduating from Ateneo’s Senior High School, Chiu was once more force to contemplate change. 

“I didn’t expect to win the UAAP Juniors championship during my rookie season,” recounted Geo. “It was unbelievable. It was something that would have never happened had I not moved to Ateneo. This year, we had only five veterans — if you can call us veterans as it was only our second year on the team — and 11 new players. It was challenging but sadly, we weren’t able to defend the crown.”

“It was setting my priorities which led to my decision to stay in Ateneo,” summed up Chiu. “The proper education is really important especially for all student-athletes. Our careers will not last forever and that is why we need to have a fallback and that will be the education that will be instilled in us.”

When Chiu joins the Ateneo Blue Eagles program, he will be reunited with former high school teammates Belangel and Credo. Ildefonso is now with National University while Manuel is with De La Salle University. Sotto is now in the United States to prepare for a stint in Europe.

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