Jul 11, 2024

Age doesn't matter for rookie Tiongson

AT 32, Caelan Tiongson seems old enough by rookie standards.

But the Fil-Am wingman doesn't mind it.

"Yeah, I'm 33 and I hope to play until I'm 50," he said in between laughs.

But kidding aside, Tiongson said a confluence of events led to his decision to apply this late in the PBA Draft.

"A year and a half ago I went back to the States and I was helping to take care of my grandma, who was ill. And by the time she got better, I was going to miss the coming season so it's been a long layoff coming here," said Tiongson, who finally decided to resume his career here after initially playing for Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League.

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Timing also played a big factor as Tiongson also previously saw action for a Chinese club team in the ABL and then in the T1 League in Taipei.

"I'm kind of getting old now. At my age, I'm ready to settle down at one spot," he said.

Tiongson showed up at the first day of the Draft Combine co-sponsored by Arena Plus and Daily Fantasy Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, undergoing the regular biometrics but didn't participate in the 5-on-5 games as he will be playing for Strong Group Athletics in the Jones Cup that kicks off this weekend in Taipei.

Tiongson had a brief stint with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA 3x3, but is looking forward to playing for any team that wants and needs his services.

"To be honest I know there's a lot of connection with Ginebra because for so long I have been linked to them," he said.

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"I don't know who's going to pick me but whoever does, I just want someone who wants me and will take care of me, excited at whoever picks me."

Tiongson won't be around for the July 14 draft as he will be with the SGA in the Jones Cup. But he'll definitely be happy just hearing his name called on stage in what could be a long-term career in local basketball.

"I'm just happy to be here in the Philippines and have a long career here," he said.(RG)