In what could be the final game of his solid career, Chris Tiu produced 30 points to lead to his Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to a 107-101 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, Saturday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“Binigay ko na lahat. It’s the last game of the season eh,” he said.
The Elasto Painters’ seventh overall pick in the 2012 Rookie Draft, Tiu has reset his career-high for the third time this 2018 Governors’ Cup. The 33-year-old out of Ateneo de Manila shot 9-of-22 from the field, and 9-of-11 from the line.
“Chris played his heart out,” lauded Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia. “Today’s game is all for Chris.”
Tiu will be walking away for good from the game he loves due to his many commitments outside of the basketball court that require utmost attention. So for Garcia, he’s a tad saddened if ever this has been Tiu’s last dance.
“This year was his best year sa whole career niya… Sayang, I hope he could still play one more year,” Garcia said. “Malaking tulong talaga si Chris. If he wont be playing next year then we have to make do with what he have.”
Still, Garcia is glad that his Elasto Painters will be ending the conference with a win.
Garcia is also satisfied with the way his wards handled themselves in the match. Rain or Shine already led by 20, 101-81, in the fourth quarter, but NLEX gave a major scare by knocking within distance, 97-103, with 1:25 remaining.
But the Elasto Painters managed to weather the comeback. Dexter Maiquez was fouled and sent to the line with 1:09 left to play, and he did not crumble, as he calmly sank his freebies to put the game away for good.
“After al the struggles we had this conference, at least we ended on a winning note,” said Garcia
Jewel Ponferrada had 13 points and eight rebounds, Maiquez finished with 12 points, and Norbert Torres made 12 and 13 boards for Rain or Shine, who played without import Terrence Watson, as he had to fly back to the US.
Aaron Fuller led NLEX with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.
Rain or Shine 107 – Tiu 30, Ponferada 13, Torres 12, Maiquez 12, Nambatac 10, Yap 8, Norwood 8, Daquioag 6, Onwubere 5, Borboran 3, Washington 0, Casino 0.
NLEX 101 – Fuller 29, Galanza 14, Miranda 12, Paniamogan 11, Taulava 9, Fonacier 8, Tiongson 5, Mallari 4, Quinahan 3, Rios 3, Monfort 3, Ighalo 0, Baguio 0, Marcelo 0, Tallo 0.
Quarterscores: 17-31, 46-51, 82-74, 107-101.
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