WHO says the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are doomed to mediocrity without long-time coach Yeng Guiao?
Chris Tiu and the rest of his teammates made sure experts won’t ever be saying that with back-to-back victories over the Kia Picanto and the TNT KaTropa the past week in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Governors Cup.
With the pair of victories Rain or Shine (3 wins, 2 losses) climbed into a tie at sixth place with TNT (3-2).
Leading the standings are the unbeaten Star Hotshots (4-0), the Meralco Bolts (5-1), Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (3-1), the San Miguel Beermen (3-1) and the NLEX Road Warriors (5-2).
The other teams include the Blackwater Elite (3-3), the GlobalPort Batang Pier (2-3), the Phoenix Petroleum Fuelmasters (2-6), the Alaska Aces (0-5) and Kia (0-7).
With his effort Tiu captured the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week award after helping Rain or Shine to those wins in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Tiu earned the citation for the period of Aug. 13-20 over teammates Jericho Cruz and Beau Belga, Meralco’s Garvo Lanete, Blackwater playmaker Roi Sumang, GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle and NLEX’s Kevin Alas.
Rain or Shine has been in transition since management decided to trade long-time resident gunner Jeff Chan to Phoenix in exchange for Mark Borboran.
The Elasto Painters also had to deal with the absence of ace defender Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan, both on loan to Gilas in the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.
But Tiu showed why he’s a key contributor for coach Caloy Garcia as he averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists off the bench to help Rain or Shine register victories over KIA and TNT.
The 32-year-old Tiu provided instant offense with 13 points, highlighted by three triples, pulled down five rebounds and issued eight assists as Rain or Shine subdued KIA, 94-86 on Aug. 13.
A week later, Tiu contributed did just enough—tallying six points, five rebounds and six assists as Rain or Shine clobbered TNT, 105-73.
Tiu is a product of Ateneo De Manila University. He was a member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines men’s seniors champion in 2008 and a two-time member of the UAAP Mythical Five (2007, 2008).
He was a key member of the Philippine national team which won the gold in the 2011 Southeast Asia Basketball Association and the 2011 Southeast Asian Games and which won the bronze in the 2011 William Jones Cup.
He joined the PBA as Rain or Shine’s 7th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. He won PBA All-Rookie first team honors in 2013, was the PBA All-Star Three-point champion in 2013 and helped Rain or Shine win the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.