The Ateneo Blue Eagles completed another blowout victory, this time against the UP Fighting Maroons, and one of the players who made it happen was rookie Tyler Tio.
The former Xavier School star finished with 14 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the field and two assists in just 11 minutes of action. He scored 10 straight points in the fourth frame, which allowed the Blue Eagles to create a safe enough cushion that propelled them to their second straight 20-point win.
“It was a very good performance considering that it’s his first game, a little bit rusty coming from the injury,” said assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga about Tio, who did not see action in their season opener due to an ankle injury. “He played his game and we needed him to play well. Last game, it was Jolo (Mendoza) who played well for us, now it’s Tyler.”
“There’s not really much to say, I was just trying to go within the flow of the game and I got open so I had to take those shots. Thankfully they went in,” Tio humbly said about his fourth quarter outburst.
He continued, “Of course I was very excited to play, but I wasn’t thinking coming into the game that I had to score this amount of points. I just wanted to make sure that I played correctly, follow Coach Tab’s system.”
“He’s part of the team that’s why he downplays his performance,” Arespacochaga commented on Tio’s response about his solid outing. “Like he says, he’s just doing his job but actually that’s part of our philosophy. Players come and do their job. It can be one guy who’s hot this game, next guy [in] another. So we go with the hot hand and we went with Tyler in that stretch.”
Tio was supposed to suit up for the Blue Eagles last season but he did not make it to the final lineup because he failed to secure a Philippine passport before the cut-off. Born to Filipino parents who eventually became Canadian citizens, Tio had to fix his citizenship papers to be able to play in the UAAP as a local.
Judging from his debut performance, it seems like it’s worth the wait for the Ateneo community.
“It’s been a long wait, that’s for sure,” Tio said, admitting that he got a little bit frustrated while waiting for his time to showcase his talents in the collegiate basketball scene. “I just used the time to get better and prepare.”
The Ateneo guard says he’s uncertain if he can sustain this kind of performance all season-long, but for sure he’s going to give it his best shot. “I don’t want to say anything. I just want to try my best and God will take care of the rest.”