PBA Philippine Cup

Handed starting reins, Tyler Tio turns heads in PBA debut

Delfin Dioquino
Handed starting reins, Tyler Tio turns heads in PBA debut

GUNNER. Rookie Tyler Tio flaunts his long range marksmanship in his first PBA game for Phoenix.

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Former Ateneo guard Tyler Tio goes perfect from long range in a promising debut for Phoenix

MANILA, Philippines – Tyler Tio fulfilled one of his dreams when he stepped on the PBA hard court, but he did more than just that.

Tio impressed in his PBA debut after netting 17 points as a starter for Phoenix, albeit in a 100-108 loss to San Miguel in their respective Philippine Cup openers on Wednesday, June 8.

Drafted 14th overall out of Ateneo, Tio flaunted his long range marksmanship by going a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point land as he and fellow rookie Encho Serrano helped keep the Fuel Masters afloat against the title-hungry Beermen.

“I’m pretty happy with the debut. First game nerves, got that out of the way. I’m happy that I was able to help my team,” said Tio.

“Dream come true. I’ll just take it in and be happy.”

Tio came into the game with more pressure than usual as Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson decided to include him in the starting lineup.

But Tio hardly looked out of place as he scored the Fuel Masters’ first points off a triple and almost sank a crucial bucket with a minute remaining that could have changed the complexion of the endgame.

“Coach Topex told me on draft night that they were looking for a starting point guard, and I’m just really thankful for the trust that he gave me from the beginning. It is nice to have a coach that believes in me in this level,” Tio said.

“I had to repay his trust.”

Tio also relished the chance to go up against the likes of June Mar Fajardo, Vic Manuel, CJ Perez, and Chris Ross, whose performances showed the rookie-laden Phoenix side still has a long way to go.

“Definitely an honor to play against these guys. I looked up to these guys, I tried to study their game and take different parts of their game and add it to mine.” – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.