CELEBRATED Rain or Shine rookie Chris Tiu had his best game as a pro in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Talk `N Text Sunday night.
Unfortunately, his best wasn’t good enough as the Elasto Painters lost, 89-80, and are now on the verge of getting swept in the best-of-seven title series.
“A win is always a win. Whatever it takes to win… Today, we were lacking on offensive options. I was just trying to be aggressive. Definitely, I wouldn’t trade a win for my best game,” said Tiu quietly emerging from the Rain or Shine dugout shortly after the sorry loss.
The 6-foot former Smart Gilas mainstay played aggressively for 22 minutes before a crowd of 16,000 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, wisely posting up the smaller Jimmy Alapag several times in the second half and knocking down clutch jumpers from the perimeter.
In all, Tiu finished with a team-high 14 points, his best in his first conference in the league.
Tiu just lamented that Rain or Shine faltered in the stretch run once again, failing to hold grip of a nine-point lead the Elasto Painters had in the final period.
“Eh, nasa match up eh. Kami yung may advantage. Di rin maka-connect sila Paul (Lee) at Jeff (Chan) sa labas. Kailangan makahanap ng paraan maka-score. Pinuwersa ko na lang, bahala na,” he said.
“Pero iyan na naman, just like the other games, we got the run, the lead, but when it mattered most, that’s when we didn’t deliver. We made crucial turnovers.
“Sila (Tropang Texters) naman they made the big shots, the big plays, which goes to show their championship composure. We need to play a perfect game against this team (in Game 4),” added the seventh pick overall in the Draft.
With the specter of losing the series via a sweep, the guard out of Ateneo said the Elasto Painters will just have to concentrate on putting up their A-game in Game 4 and hope to prolong the series.
“We want to take it one game at a time, concentrate first on getting one game first. We don’t even want to think of the championship first,” he said.