Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao expects rookie guard Chris Tiu to provide instant impact when the Elasto Painters open their campaign in the 38th PBA Season starting Sept. 30.
Guiao said Tiu, taken by Rain or Shine with its No. 7 overall pick during Sunday's PBA Rookie Draft, has enough experience to quickly adjust to the style of play in the pro league.
"He's actually an experienced player. He already played in the PBA, so he knows how physical it is in the PBA," said Guiao. "He also played in several international tournaments, so he's ripe for the pro."
Guiao is still amazed at having landed Tiu, a 5-foot-11 guard who played college ball for Ateneo before he joined the Gilas national team where he stayed for three years.
Many thought Tiu would be second or third pick. But Tiu had to wait a bit longer as other teams successively passed him by until Rain or Shine took him at No. 7.
No. 1 pick, as expected, was 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo who Petron had announced long before that he would be its choice.
Alaska drafted Calvin Abueva No. 2 overall, then, in succession, Petron chose Alex Mallari, Meralco took Cliff Hodge, Barako Bull selected Aldrech Ramos and Barangay Ginebra grabbed Chris Ellis.
Then came Rain or Shine's turn and it picked Tiu.
"We were really surprised he's still available," said Guiao.
"Truth is we were already negotiating to trade that No. 7 pick (for a future pick) on the floor during the draft. But when we noticed nobody's getting Chris Tiu, we held on to that pick. Chris is a very good addition for us," added Guiao.
The team was actually looking to add a big man, but with Fajardo, Hodge, Ellis and Ramos already taken, Guiao said it's hard to pass up on Tiu although there are other tall players still available like Vic Manuel and Dave Marcelo.
According to Guiao, who recently steered the franchise owned by Terry Que and Raymond Yu to its first PBA championship by winning the Governors' Cup, Tiu can also help the team off the court.
"Let's face it. With his looks he adds marketing value to the team. Ayoko naman na ako lang ang pogi sa Rain or Shine," Guiao said in jest.