Terrence Romeo, the GlobalPort guard, was the brightest star and the hands down headliner on Monday night with a career performance of 41 points against the league’s top and best defensive team in Alaska.
His fingerprints were all over the Batang Pier’s stunning win in the franchise’s first-ever semifinals appearance, but as Romeo disappeared into the Mall of Asia tunnel the 23-year-old didn’t want to bask in the glory alone even if he had every right to do so.
Romeo, who went 12-of-21 shooting from the field including 6-of-11 from deep, downplayed his spectacular night saying that he was just “lucky” to make those many shots and score a lot of points. He also admitted to having jitters as he appeared in his first Final Four game in the pros.
“Credit ko yun kay coach Pido (Jarencio). Siya yung nakaisip na kapag hawak ko yung bola, may ball screen at ako na ang didiskarte. Sobrang effective ng stretegy,” said Romeo, who has not only transcended as one the league’s top players in just a short time but his game and demeanor have matured.
“Credit din sa big guys namin, si kuya Billy (Mamaril), kuya Doug (Kramer), kuya Dorian (Peña), at kuya Rico (Maierhofer). Halos lahat sila ang dahilan kaya ako nakakatira ng maayos. At sila Stanley (Pringle), na-attract nila yung depensa kaya nao-open ako.”
Romeo obliterated Alaska’s defense and had no regard as to whoever Aces head coach Alex Compton decided to put on him whether it’s his Gilas teammate Calvin Abueva or the likes of veteran swingmen Cyrus Baguio and Dondon Hontiveros and guards JVee Casio, Ping Exciminiano and RJ Jazul.
But the national team standout knows he and the Batang Pier will be facing a different Alaska team come Wednesday night for Game 2.
“Alam kong mag-a-adjust sila sa depensa kaya sinabi ko sa teammates ko na series ito, ready lang kayo kasi baka dumating yung point na magta-trap sila sa akin,” said Romeo, whose previous career-high was 40 points against Rain or Shine last Governors’ Cup in Dubai.
“Nandoon ang tiwala ko sa kanila.”