PIERRE Henderson-Niles is out to pay back the faith of childhood pal Wayne Chism for opening the door that led him to Rain or Shine.
Shortly after booking a seat in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals, the strongly built import declared that he’s looking to win a championship which he intends to offer to the 28-year-old Chism, who, like Niles, also comes from Tennessee.
Niles said he intends to complete Chism’s unfinished business in this same import-spiced conference last season.
“My homeboy Wayne Chism, he played here last year. He lost in Game Seven of the finals, so I got to win it for him, too,” said Niles, who had 15 points and 14 rebounds in the Elasto Painters 124-99 win over the top seeded San Miguel Beermen to close out their best-of-five semis series, 3-1.
Winning a championship would more than make up for Niles' failure to win one with Memphis during the 2008 U.S. NCAA finals when the Tigers lost to the Kansas Jayhawks in overtime, 75-68, after Mario Chalmers buried the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.
At the same time, he wants to repay Chism who recommended him to Rain or Shine at a time when the team was on a lookout for a replacement for Mo Charlo.
Chism failed to lead the franchise to the championship of the mid-season tournament a year ago after the Elasto Painters lost to Tropang TNT in double overtime of Game Seven.
“When I got here they were (Elasto Painters) like, ‘Wayne told us about you.’ I was like, ‘Wayne told you about me?’” recalled Niles of his first encounter with Rain or Shine management.
“I was shocked. I haven’t talked to Wayne for like a year,” he added. “So after they told me about it, I called him (Chism) and talked to him, and told him I appreciate it. That’s how it turned up.”
Chism was brought back by Rain or Shine as its import this conference, but had to be replaced when he suffered a pulled hamstring during the team’s game against Meralco. Antoine Wright was immediately tapped to take his place.
But Wright and later Charlo didn’t meet the needs of Rain or Shine, which eventually settled for Niles – upon the recommendation of Chism himself.
For that alone, Niles is committed to win one for his good old friend.
“Hopefully, we’ll pull it out for Wayne,” he said.