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    PBA Finals poster boys Banchero, Tiu show they're more than just pretty faces

    May 15, 2016
    Chris Tiu and Chris Banchero show they're more than just pretty faces. Jerome Ascano

    THE ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals is not lacking in appeal among female fans.

    Sex appeal, that is.

    Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu and Alaska sophomore Chris Banchero bring star power to the best-of-seven championship series, constantly raising the decibel level when it comes to shrieks from female fans with their impressive play and good looks.

    The two players happen to be the most marketable stars in the league, cornering their share of endorsement deals with brands like adidas and Gatorade. Tiu has also made a name for himself as a television host on the side.

    Yet the two have also proven that they're more than just pretty faces, leaving their imprint in the finals with splendid plays while mixing it up with the league's most rugged defenders, without regard for personal safety.

    "I don't know, I'm just out there playing as hard as I can. I don't think about getting myself bruised or my face getting hit. I don't mind," said Fil-Italian Banchero with a smile.

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    "No, never, never that I thought of being careful with how I look when fighting for possession or diving for the loose ball," he added.

    Tiu agreed.

    "That's part of our job, we play hard, we have to make sacrifices for the team even if it means taking charges or diving for loose balls. I have to do it because it's the little things that mattered," said the former Ateneo star.

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    Banchero played his best game of the finals on Friday night, leading a mid-game spurt that enabled Alaska to take Game Four, 111-99, and in the process avert a Rain or Shine sweep.

    Later, the spunky guard said he's simply adhering to Alaska's gung-ho style of play personified by 'The Beast' Calvin Abueva.

    "No matter what game is that, whether it's elimination game or finals, you look at the kind of team we got, it's a bunch of guys who play hard and don't back down," said Banchero.

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    "It's Calvin (Abueva) who sets the tone for us," he added.

    Tiu seemed like an odd fit for Rain or Shine's tough-guy image. But the former Gilas Pilipinas guard has shown time and again than he can handle the physicality in the league.

    As a result, he has also earned a place in Yeng Guiao's regular backcourt rotation.

    "For someone like me, I always say that I'm not the most athletic person, so I just got to play with a lot of energy and a lot of effort and hustle a lot," said Tiu.

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    Chris Tiu and Chris Banchero show they're more than just pretty faces. Jerome Ascano
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