Rain or Shine's Chris Tiu (right) tries to drive past TNT's Anthony Semerad during the two team's first PBA game of the 43rd season, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay | PBA Images

Chris Tiu reinventing self as shoot-first guard in bigger role for Rain or Shine
Denison Rey A. Dalupang (philstar.com) - December 23, 2017 - 1:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — Rain or Shine’s Chris Tiu is evolving with his team.

Known to facilitate first for his teammates all his life, Tiu, who helped the Elasto Painters eke out a win against TNT KaTropa on Friday night, admitted that he’s trying to tweak his approach in the game of basketball.

READ: Painters avoid meltdown, escape Texters

"Trying to be more offensive-minded — [now] I'm more scoring-minded, if there's such a word,” Tiu said when asked about his team second-best 12 points. 

"Before I was pass-first, but with the departure of some of our scorers, we have to fill in,” he shared. “Gabe (Norwood) is doing the same thing, I think hes more of a scorer now than he was before.”

With their squad saddled by injuries (Jericho Cruz, Jay Washington, and Jireh Ibañez), Tiu’s initiative is a welcome solution. James Yap, too, was tentative in that affair at the Cuneta Astrodome as his spasms recurred midway the game. 
"I think I played decent today, made some important plays and shots,” Tiu offered. “I’m happy naman.” 

But Tiu, alongside Beau Belga’s heroics in the payoff period, seems to translate as a solution for their perennial problems on closing out tight games.

"I think it's a good test for us. Early on we're playing close games, because towards the end of the elimination round and in the playoffs, if ever we make it there, we’ll be playing a lot of close games,” Tiu offered. "So we have to get accustomed to that.”

The eloquent cager finished with 12 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal in 23 minutes of action. 

“[A] lot of us used to be second stringers, and now were closing out games — without Paul Lee, without Jeff Chan, JR Quiñahan,” the 32-year-old and former national team member said.  
“So its me, Mav (Ahanmisi), maybe (Ed) Daquioag sometimes, maybe (Don) Trollano or (Raymond) Almazan. So, you know, its a good practice for us as we move forward in the season,” he shared.

Rain or Shine will get to test more of their newfound strategies as the move on to play the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Jan. 12, 2018, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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