CHRIS Tiu was glad to redeem himself as he drained the game-clinching freebies in Rain or Shine’s 99-96 overtime win against Magnolia in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday.
“At least in a way, I was kinda able to redeem myself,” he said, finishing the game with 10 points, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
Tiu had a couple of boo-boos in the extra period, forcing an errant triple in the tightly contested final minute of overtime and also throwing the ball away in the ensuing possession as Hotshots import Curtis Kelly anticipated his pass to Reggie Johnson.
“Siguro nagkataon na may miscommunication kami ng ibang players. Napunta kami sa pwesto na hindi dapat,” he said.
But the Elasto Painters’ defense made up for those miscues as Maverick Ahanmisi forced Kelly to lose the ball in the last 18 seconds and reclaim possession with their side holding the 95-94 lead.
“Buti na lang, our defense held up and we were able to make stops when it mattered. They forced turnovers also on the other end, so at least those turnovers bailed us out in a way,” sighed Tiu.
The former Smart Gilas guard would atone himself after that exchange, stepping up to the plate and converting the four free throws that put the nail in the coffin.
“I think It’s a given that you have to make those shots. I mean, who would want to miss those shots, ‘di ba?” he said. “Everybody wants to make it as much as possible. Nobody wants to miss any free throw in whatever stage of the game, more so in the endgame. Again, I’m just happy to have redeemed myself.”
Tiu’s calm free throw shooting extended Rain or Shine’s win streak to five, keeping it on top of the standings.
More importantly, it brings the Elasto Painters closer to their goal of nabbing a Top-Two spot in the quarterfinals.
And for Tiu, it’s everything he could ask for, to be in a good position to contend in the playoffs.
“We just want to take it one step at a time, one game at a time,” he said. “We don’t want to look too far ahead and just try to keep getting better every day at practice. We’ll use these games as opportunities to mature because most of our wins are wins are really close games."
"I think we’ve had three overtime games out of the six that we’ve won, and even those that didn’t go through OT were really down the wire. So it’s a good practice for us to play in these kinds of situations," he added.
Rain or Shine returns to court on Friday against Blackwater.