CHRIS Tiu just found himself in a situation totally unfamiliar to him in a young PBA career.
The Rain or Shine guard will not be in the playoffs for the very first time as the Elasto Painters' season came to an abrupt end on Wednesday night when they were eliminated by the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 105-94, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The multi-titled franchise last missed the playoffs during the 2012 Commissioner's Cup, just a year before Tiu arrived in the team as Rain or Shine's first round pick in the 2013 Draft.
And so Tiu felt a bit weird that he's off to an early vacation with the rest of the team.
"Masakit but it happens,' Tiu admitted after the game. "I guess it would have been too good to be true if we always made it to the semis in the four years that I am here."
The only time Tiu didn't play in the semis came in his rookie season during the 2013 Commissioner's Cup when Ginebra negated Rain or Shine's twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
In all, he played the semis nine straight conferences and was in the finals five times, finally winning his first championship in the Commissioner's Cup last conference.
"We've been pretty consistent in that sense," said the 31-year-old guard, who finished with nine points and four rebounds in the loss against Phoenix.
"But the streak has to end, you just have to deal with it."
As it is, Tiu hasn't made any plans yet on what he will do following the early vacation of the Elasto Painters, who concluded their campaign in the season-ending conference with a 5-6 record.
"Hindi tayo sanay diyan," he said with a laugh. "But that's basketball."