IN what could be the final game of his storied PBA career, Chris Tiu produced a performance worth remembering.
Tiu finished with a career-high 30 points --17 in the second half -- as the import-less Rain or Shine rallied from a 16-point deficit to stun NLEX, 107-101 in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Tiu, who had already hinted in the past about retirement after six years, was the man of the hour in the E-Painters’ dramatic victory over the Road Warriors.
Although laying without an import in their final game of the season-ending conference, the E-Painters came charging back behind Tiu.
Tiu’s back-to-back baskets put Rain or Shine ahead, 54-53, on and later 82-74 at the end of the third period.
The former Ateneo star, who was selected No. 7 overall by Rain or Shine during the 2012 PBA Draft, waxed hot in the fourth period and nailed a dagger three that gave the E-Painters a 97-78 cushion in the final quarter.
“Chris (Tiu) played his hearts out. Maybe he might be retiring at the end of the day. With 30 points, maybe he should not retire. Decision niya ‘yun. This game is for Chris,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.
Garcia, however, admitted Tiu has an expiring contract at the end of the season.
He has yet to sit down with management to discuss any plans for extension or finally hanging up his sneakers.
But it was not an all-Tiu show.
Norbert Torres, Gabe Norwood, James Yap and Dexter Maiquez did most of the dameg in the third period when the E-Painters outscored the Road Warriors, 34-23.
Rain or Shine (107) --Tiu 30, Ponferada 13, Torres 12, Maiquez 12, Nambatac 10, Yap 8, Norwood 8, Daquioag 6, Onwubere 5, Borboran 3, Washington 0, Casino 0.
NLEX (101) -- Fuller 29, Galanza 14, Miranda 12, Paniamogan 11, Taulava 9, Fonacier 8, Tiongson 5, Mallari 4, Quinahan 3, Rios 3, Monfort 3, Ighalo 0, Baguio 0, Marcelo 0, Tallo 0.
Quarterscores: 17-31, 46-51, 82-74, 107-101.