After recovering from a hamstring injury, prized rookie Chris Tiu was finally given the go-signal to scrimmage with the rest of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters barely three weeks before the opening of the new PBA season.
But it wasn’t much of an adjustment for Tiu, who said he feels right at home in coach Yeng Guiao’s system.
“System is perfect for me. Conditioning and timing na lang,” wrote Tiu in a text message to InterAKTV.
Guiao agreed with his new guard’s assessment.
“Bagay na bagay siya sa sistema. He looks to be the right fit whenever we run the pick and roll and the weave offense,” said Guiao of Tiu.
“He is also a very intelligent player, shoots the ball efficiently, knows when to react and makes the right decision. He will definitely make an impact for our team and the league in general,” added Guiao, who was named Coach of the Year by the PBA Press Corps last Monday for leading the Elasto Painters to their first title in franchise history in last season’s Governors’ Cup.
“Siguro if I’m going to grade him, I will give him a 7.5 out of 10, considering the fact na hindi pa siya 100% fit coming off an injury.”
Guiao has a reputation for allowing his players room to freelance on the offensive end, and Tiu is relishing the newfound freedom.
“Compared to my former coaches [Norman Black and Rajko Toroman], Coach Yeng’s system gives you a lot of freedom. We run a system and patterns, but it gives players opportunity to create. Di-diskarte ka rin and you will read situations,” said Tiu.
“Coach Rajko’s system is very systematic and structured while Coach Norman’s is a little bit in between between coach Yeng’s and Rajko’s.”
For the former SMART-Gilas captain, however, the key is to make sure that he is 100 percent come the opening of the season.
“I feel better now, but this is not a good gauge because we only played half court,” he said. “There’s still pain sa harmstring injury ko, but I’m doing constant rehab to facilitate healing.”