After leading Rain or Shine to a victory, Chris Tiu left the court unsure if he had already played his final game in the PBA.
"I'm very proud of my teammates and the coaching staff because we played without pressure," Tiu, whose contract expires at the end of the 2018 Governors' Cup, said during the Best Player of the Game interview.
Tiu scored a career-high 30 points as the Elasto Painters ended their conference on a high note, winning 107-101 over the NLEX Road Warriors.
It was the third time that Tiu notched a new career high in scoring this conference. He notched 23 points in October 17 in a win against NorthPort Batang Pier, before breaking that record with a 24-point output on October 24 in a loss to the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
"My future in the PBA is uncertain. My contract is ending as well. I haven't talked to our bosses. I wanted to end it nicely, end it elegantly, by giving it everything I had. I'm so happy to be part of the ROS family."
With a little over eight minutes remaining in the final period and with Tiu already having 22 points, he drew a foul that sent him to the free throw line. Alex Mallari was called for a technical foul on the same play, giving Tiu three charities which he all made to set a new career high and give his team a 94-78 lead.
Tiu added another triple and two free throws late in the game before being subbed out with 25 seconds left.
"So that's how it feels like to have your teammates looking for you every play," Tiu said in jest after the match. "I played so many minutes and I think that's also the most attempts I took in my entire PBA career."
"Even with my other commitments, I'm happy with my performance because I did what I could to help my team," Tiu went on. "I'm thankful to coach Caloy (Garcia) because he really gave me an opportunity this year. I was used to being the back-up of Paul Lee and Jeff Chan but this year he really trusted me. He allowed me to play my game, especially the most important stretches of the game. As a player it gives one a lot of confidence knowing you're going to get your minutes and you're going to play in the end game."
Although it sounded like it would be the end of his PBA career, Tiu, who was selected seventh overall in the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft, stopped short of closing the door.
"I don't want to pre-empt anything. I want to talk to our team owners first and see where we go from there," Tiu said. "I have a lot of things going on outside of basketball. I have projects of my own and I also have obligations to my family. My kids are growing up fast. I want to spend a lot of time with them in these important formative years. I have a lot of things to consider so let's see. But physically, I still think I can play. I felt pretty good. I have developed an effective routine to keep my body in shape. This season, I missed just a few games so I also thank our trainers for taking care of me."
"I'm 33. I'm not getting any younger. I'm happy to still be a significant player for Rain or Shine and, whatever happens, I'll be here to support Rain or Shine. I really enjoyed working with a bunch of great guys. I'll support them in any way I can."