ANTIPOLO – Chris Tiu played down his steal in the endgame that preserved Rain or Shine’s 98-97 win over NLEX in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup matchup on Wednesday night.
While Jay Washington and Reggie Johnson took the spotlight with crucial offensive conversions, Tiu preserved the result by coming up with a deflection on Juami Tiongson with sixth seconds left that prevented the Road Warriors from taking a game-winning shot.
“Crucial steal ba yun? What's important is our team showed a lot of character down the stretch,” Tiu said. “We were losing for the most part, but you know, the players stayed composed and we just inched our way back slowly, It wasn't the prettiest games for us but we'll take it, a win is a win.”
“It's a grind out win and in any tournament, sometimes we need games like this to test you and push you to your limits,” he added.
After all, the E-Painters erased a nine-point deficit in the third quarter and turned it into a see-saw game down the stretch.
Tiu recorded three steals overall that made up for a poor shooting night that saw him make just three of his 12 shots, although he made all four of his charities to reach his 12-point total. The veteran playmaker also collected five assists and two rebounds in 27 minutes.
After that last crucial steal, Tiu went for an uncontested floater that missed, although he hoped that it didn’t insult the Road Warriors.
“Wala na, tapos na yun eh. I just threw it up. I wasn't sure if I could have made the shot or not kasi usually pag tapos na 'yung game, sort of basketball ethics na lang, you don't score it anymore. I was kinda unsure,” Tiu said.
“Dapat ba shinoot ko yung huli…hindi na, di ba?” he asked coach Caloy Garcia who was sitting behind him. “I wasn't sure also if you know, it was the right thing to do kasi it might insult the other team also. I just threw it up for the sake of it because we had the win already.”
“It's totally different from what happened before with Alaska that one there was like four seconds on the clock pa eh, dito wala na talaga and we were up by one,” he continued, referring to Maverick Ahanmisi’s layup that led to Chris Banchero burying a triple that forced OT before ROS held on.
Nevertheless, Tiu was glad to see another balanced effort from the entire team for them to stay unbeaten in the conference.
“Everybody helped out and we're just happy with the start that we have so far,” Tiu said.