Tiu views Fonacier as greatest rival to PBA 3-point crown
MANILA, Philippines – Chris Tiu will have his hands full in extending his reign as king of the three-pointer.
Tiu will be defending his three-point shootout crown at the 2014 PBA All-Star Weekend against a cast of lethal shooters that include Mark Macapagal (GlobalPort) – the 3-time champion whom Tiu unseated last year – and another former champion in James Yap (San Mig Super Coffee).
All of Tiu's competition have the potential to steal the title away from him, including Mac Baracael (Ginebra), Jayvee Casio (Alaska), Mark Cardona (Air21), Ronjay Buenafe (Barako Bull), Gary David (Meralco), and Marcio Lassiter (San Miguel).
But for the Rain or Shine sophomore, his biggest threat has a baby face just like his – Talk 'N Text's Larry Fonacier.
"I can't pick one, they're all great shooters but maybe Larry (Fonacier)," Tiu told Rappler after Rain or Shine's dominant win over GlobalPort on Monday, March 31.
Fonacier, known as the "Baby Face Assassin," last participated in the three-point shootout in 2007. He will also be playing for team Gilas Pilipinas when they go up against the PBA All-Stars for this year's main event on Sunday.
Tiu also singled out many-time participants Lassiter and Yap, as well as Macapagal, perhaps the one who is most eager to reclaim the title.
"All of them can just shoot the lights out," Tiu said, adding that the All-Star break "hasn't really sunk in yet" for him.
Last year, the 28-year-old came up with a finals tally of 21 points, overcoming KG Canaleta's 18 points, after a good shoot-around before the contest. This year, the former Ateneo Blue Eagle sweet shooter looks forward to simply enjoying the game.
"All the participants are just amazing shooters, better shooters than I am," Tiu shared. "I'm not even thinking about. I just wanna go out there, have fun and give the fans a good show, hopefully, and we'll see what happens."
This year's All-Star Weekend will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City from April 4 to 6. The three-day spectacle will feature events such as the Greats versus Stalwarts game, the obstacle challenges, the three-point shootout, the slam dunk contest, and the marquee game of national team Gilas Pilipinas versus the PBA All-Stars. The schedule for events is expected to be rolled out on Wednesday, April 2. – Rappler.com