In the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ first five games of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup – which saw them lose four straight – Chris Tiu was a non-factor for his team, as he only scored a grand total of 12 points over the whole stretch.
So on Wednesday night, he decided to end that struggle.
And he did it in style.
The veteran floor general nearly doubled his five-game scoring total, finishing with a career-high of 23 points on an excellent 9-of-12 shooting from the field to lead the Elasto Painters to a 120-98 victory over the NorthPort Batang Pier.
Fifteen of his output came in the final frame, including 10 in Rain or Shine’s finishing 15-6 rally from an eight-point lead with 5:44 to go – their lead had actually been 20 earlier until the Batang Pier fought back behind Rashad Woods.
“I needed this game because I’ve been struggling the past few games.
“The team relies on me offensively. I’m happy I was able to get some rhythm going today,” said Tiu, who also had three assists, two rebounds, a steal, and a block.
“There were times that I hesitated a little bit but nilabanan ko na lang utak ko na that’s not how its supposed to be. And coach Caloy [Garcia] kept me in the game and thankfully I was able to deliver,” furthered the 33-year-old.
It wasn’t just Tiu that had a solid night, thought, as five more Elasto Painters scored in double figures – three in 20-plus points, such as Beau Belga (21 points, 8-of-8 shooting), Terrence Watson (21 points), and James Yap (20).
“I think the starters set the tone early. Beau is playing well offensively, James, and even Mav (Ahanmisi). Actually everybody contributed today,” he said.
But more than having regained his touch, Tiu is more satisfied that the Elasto Painters have kept themselves alive for the playoffs – their win over NorthPort improved their win-loss record to 2-4.
“I glad we pulled off the win because we needed this win. It gave us hope because we’re 2-4 now,” said the seventh overall pick of the 2012 Draft.
“Hopefully we can get something started and give us a fighting chance to make the playoffs.”
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