CHRIS Tiu and Jeric Teng, two hardcourt heartthrobs who at first glance looked like wrong fits in a rugged Rain or Shine squad, are showing in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against San Mig that they won't shy away from physical play in the pro league.
The rookie Teng, a former star for the University of Santo Tomas Tigers in college, had a couple of highly physical skirmishes with Justin Melton, at one point even giving his fellow freshman a hard shoulder bump that didn't escape the eyes of the referees.
Tiu also showed his tough side in Game Two which Rain or Shine lost, 70-80, on Sunday night, engaging San Mig guard Mark Barroca - incidentally his longtime teammate in the original Gilas team - in a couple of exchanges that got too rough for comfort.
Teng, who is all over Edsa with brother Jeron in billboards endorsing everything from clothes to hamburgers, said he was merely trying to stand his ground in the pro league, where he said games can get really physical.
“Dito kasi (sa PBA), grabe ang contact so you have to be physical,” said Teng, selected in the second round at No. 12 overall by Rain or Shine in the last rookie draft.
“If it’s physical, you have to be physical talaga eh ako, always ready naman. I work hard everyday in practice,” added the son of former San Miguel toughie Alvin Teng.
Tiu, easily the most sought after endorser among PBA players, went scoreless in 11 minutes on the floor in Game Two, but insisted the Elasto Painters weren't necessarily 'bullied' by the more aggressive Mixers in the match.
“Tingin ko naunahan kasi kami. They (Mixers) got their rhythm going. They got their confidence,” said the former Ateneo star and top product endorser. “Pero di naman siguro (kami) na-bully."
Tiu continued: "But they (Mixers) did their homework. They made the adjustment so they deserve to win this game.”