REIGNING three-point shootout champion Chris Tiu believes he’ll be hard-pressed to retain his crown during the PBA All-Star Weekend with the presence of several set shooters like him among this season's competitors.
The Rain or Shine guard upstaged Nino Canaleta and Alaska’s JV Casio by scoring 21 points in last year's finals in Digos City, Davao del Sur, in the process tying the shootout record he now shares with Allan Caidic (1991), Will Antonio (2006) and James Yap (2008).
They Said It!
“It’s advantageous if you shoot with a set shot, (someone) who's a rhythm shooter." Reigning three-point shootout champion Chris Tiu
Tiu conceded that as in any three-point shootout, the advantage is always with what he called the "piso-piso set shooters" since jump shooters tend to tire out in the end.
“Iyung mga jump shooters kasi, I noticed, mas disadvantaged sa kanila and three-point shootout format because you’re shooting 25 balls in one minute, so it can kill your legs towards the end,” explained Tiu.
“So it’s advantageous if you shoot with a set shot, (someone) who's a rhythm shooter.”
Scanning the list of participants this season, Tiu said there are a lot of set shooters like him, making special mention of gunners like Larry Fonacier of Talk 'N Text, Ronjay Buenafe of Barako Bull and San Miguel Beer's Marcio Lassiter who he said is slowly transforming into a spot-up shooter.
The field also has former three-time champion Mark Macapagal of GlobalPort.
“Lahat shooters eh,” Tiu said of all the nine other participants in the shootout. “Pero I think 'yung pareho sa akin, si Larry, he’s more of a spot-up shooter and di siya masyadong jump shooter tulad nila Marcio, though nagbago na rin siya eh."
The Skills Events, composed of the Three-point Shootout, Obstacle Challenge and the Slam Dunk contest, will be held Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Outside Lassiter, Fonacier, Buenafe and Macapagal,Tiu will also have to contend with other three-point specialist like one-time champion Yap of San Mig, Ginebra’s Mac Baracael, Casio, Air21’s Mark Cardona and Meralco’s Gary David.
“All these guys medyo ganun, piso-piso lang, like si Larry, Ronjay. Si James lang medyo jump shooter. And of course, JV Casio, yung tira niya may pagka-jump shot din na pa-abante, so he uses his legs,” he added.