THE points were already pouring for a shorthanded Rain or Shine squad against Phoenix on Wednesday night, resulting in a 120-99 blowout in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup.
What more if they are at full strength?
Chris Tiu believes the Elasto Painters have yet to show their full potential even after the lopsided victory against the Fuel Masters in a game where they led by as many as 39 points after seven ROS players scored in double digits.
“I don’t know about full potential, but I think it was a good sign,” Tiu said. “We needed this win badly. It was a good confidence booster for us coming back from tough losses. If we lost, we would have been 1-3 and that would have really killed the spirits of the team.
“At least not just the win, but even the way we played, I think it gave hope to a lot of the players and coaches na kaya naman pala if everyone will just put their heart and mind to it,” he added after his team was coming off a 78-70 loss to GlobalPort last week.
Tiu was part of the balanced offensive effort, picking up from where he left off after he was out for one game due to a minor knee injury as he registered 17 points, built around four triples, seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals, against only one turnover in 28 minutes as a starter.
But the veteran playmaker is even more excited when Raymond Almazan, Jericho Cruz, Jay Washington, and Jireh Ibañes return.
“We're a competitive team,” Tiu said. “We can compete against the best teams in the league. May igagaling pa yan. Jericho's not even back, Raymond, Jireh, Jay Wash so hopefully we can sustain it and win more games.”
Tiu is especially pumped once the 6-foot-8 Almazan comes back after being benched following an argument with coach Caloy Garcia.
“I'm positive that would be resolved and we just have to hold the fort,” Tiu said. “I think we'll be okay. Today, the other guys stepped up. Dexter Maiquez, Mark Borboran, Jewel Ponferrada played well also even Ronnie Matias.
“Hopefully, the guys can step up and when Raymond's back we'll be even stronger,” he added.