Tyler Tio and Encho Serrano went all out to impress…and succeeded during their first game in the PBA, when Phoenix Super LPG took on the San Miguel Beermen. Tio got in 17 points and scored 5-of-5 from three-point land. Serrano’s all-around game got him 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists,
Tio, the draft’s 14th pick, became a starter in his first PBA match, and was also present during the last minutes of the game for the Fuel Masters. The rookie nearly nailed the long two that could have added more pressure for the Beermen in the final seconds of the game.
Serrano, the draft’s 19th overall pick, was the team’s lead scorer in the first half, with 11 of his 15 points done in the second period alone.
Chris Lalata, with his five points, two rebounds, and a steal in eight minutes of play, also put in quality minutes in the game.
Despite losing the game to the Beermen, Phoenix coach Topex Robinson was definitely excited about his team’s future.
“As much as we lost that game, there’s so much to be excited about. Rookies really blended well with our veterans. A few stops away. We gave ourselves a chance to win,” Robinson said.
“Again, it’s really something that we should look forward to and get excited about.”
He revealed that it was really their plan to put Tio with the starters. His impressive showing was enough to convince Robinson to let him finish the game as well.
Robinson said, “He delivered. ‘Yun ang sabi ko sa kanya. You are going to be starting. Ang challenge is will you end the game. And he did, because he was doing the right things. So much potential with Tyler.”
The coach was also happy about Serrano’s performance. The seasoned rookie played for Barangay Ginebra, as well as with the Pampanga Delta in the NBL and Basilan in the MPBL.
“Encho was really exciting to watch. He really kept us alive with his energy. Again, so many things to be grateful for,” Robinson said.
“They are taking advantage of the opportunity that has been given to them.”