Terrence Romeo, the PBA scoring champion the last two seasons, was at it Sunday night, firing away a season-high 35 points to power GlobalPort to a 91-84 win over Barangay Ginebra and back to joint lead in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Romeo waxed hottest when needed the most, scattering 15 markers in the fourth quarter after Ginebra wiped out an early 18-point deficit and pulled abreast at 65-all.
The GlobalPort hotshot fired big shots after big shots to personally fend off the Gin Kings and carry the Batang Pier back in the lead in a tie with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the San Miguel Beermen at 3-1.
JR Quinahan contributed 15 points, Stanley Pringle chipped in 12 while KG Canaleta added 10 as the Batang Pier bounced back strong from a loss to the Alaska Aces the last time out.
GlobalPort pounced on Ginebra in the second and fourth quarters and sent the Kings reeling to a second loss in three games.
Not just with his scoring but also with his passing and defense, Romeo led the way against Ginebra.
“He’s no longer the Terrence Romeo who would just entertain the crowd,” said GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren.
“Terrence is a different breed, he’s really a talented player. But if you take a look at how he plays now, he’s playing tough defense and he’s passing the ball, looking for his teammates. He’s slowly evolving into a good all-around player,” Pumaren also said.
Romeo also stood the forefront of their attack as they opened an 18-point spread at 44-26 on a huge 44-26 run.
The former FEU standout scored 10 points while KG Canaleta fired eight as they outscored the entire Ginebra team, 18-14, in the second period.
Then the team showed poise and character as the Kings tried to mount a rally.
“We’re slowly maturing. We crumbled down against Alaska. But what a way to bounce back,” said Pumaren.
“When they’re making a run, we didn’t panic. We stayed in the system. That’s why we survived the Ginebra onslaught.”