|Chris Tiu had his first 30-point game in what could be his farewell game. PBA Media Group|
By Ivan Saldajeno
QUEZON CITY--If this may well be Chris Tiu's final game in the Philippine Basketball Association, he made sure he will go out with a bang.
Tiu dropped 30 points to lead Rain Or Shine to a 107-101 win against NLEX in its season finale at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday night.
Tiu came alive in the final three quarters as the Elasto Painters came back from 16 points down and gave the Road Warriors some scare on where they will end up come the Governors' Cup quarterfinals.
NLEX finished the first quarter on a 21-5 run to take a 31-17 lead. The team would slightly stretch the lead to 46-30 midway through the second quarter.
ROS, however, went on a 14-0 run to draw to within two, 46-48, before conceding a triple just before halftime.
The team then dropped 36 points in the third quarter to take an 82-74 lead entering the fourth, where it will stretch its lead to as high as 20, 101-81.
NLEX still threatened to steal the win as the team went on a 16-2 run to close the gap to 103-97 with 1:25 to go, but a clutch lay-in from Dexter Maiquez helped seal the deal for ROS.
Jewel Ponferada added 13 markers, eight rebounds, three assists, one block, and two steals for the E-Painters, who had to play all-Filipino due to import Terrence Watson attending to his newborn baby.
Maiquez and Norbert Torres each finished with 12 points with the latter having a double-double after also collecting 13 rebounds.
Aaron Fuller made 29 markers, 12 boards, seven dimes, and one steal for the Road Warriors, who can still fall to eighth place if the Meralco Bolts beat the San Miguel Beermen later Saturday and the TNT KaTropa fall to Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night.
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