With 6:50 left in the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ game against the Globalport Batang Pier on Sunday evening, Chris Tiu was flat on his back. He had literally been knocked out in what he called “the hardest hit” he ever received in his life.
A few minutes prior, the 5-foot-11 combo guard had tried to go for a defensive board. Standing in his way was 6-foot-9 behemoth Malcolm White.
White did not know that Tiu was headed towards him, as he accidentally swung his forearm into the face of the basketball player/TV host.
“Siyempre sino ba hindi magagalit sa ganiyang action di ba? It was clearly intentional. It’s been very rough the entire game, unfortunately I didn’t see it at all and he got me clean,” recalled Tiu, whose upper and lower lip were swelling after the game.
“It’s been the worst, the hardest hit I’ve ever gotten in my basketball career. I lost consciousness maybe two seconds ano, parang nasapak ako ni [Manny] Pacquiao.”
Once he got up, he tried to confront White, but the game officials were there to separate the two. Rain or Shine’s medical team tried to let him sit the rest of the game, but Tiu did not allow it, wanting to exact the vengeance the best way he could: by winning the game.
Tiu was able to return to the game with 3:20 left, and he quickly made his presence felt with a strong drive to the rim for a lay-up that extended Rain or Shine’s edge to eight points, 87-79, 12 seconds later.
When Rain or Shine were able to cut the lead down to just six with 1:14 left, Tiu — just like he has done all throughout his career — nailed the cold-blooded dagger that bucked Globalport’s comeback.
“Situations like these happen, it’s part of basketball. Just be focused and the objective is to win the game. That’s the best revenge we could give them.
“Like I said, going to the hospital would not give me a chance to get back at him or them, with the way they played. I think the best way was just to win the game. I’m glad we pulled through,” vowed Tiu, who finished the game with 10 points, six assists, and five rebounds.
More importantly, Tiu can now have his lips and teeth checked.
“Buhay pa. Malayo naman sa bituka eh [laughs]. I’m just happy na hindi natanggal ngipin ko or nabasag ilong ko. It’s more of the gum, I have to get it stitched up right after this.”