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PBA: Globalport grounds Air21

Joseph Yeo and Terrence Romeo

by Waylon Galvez

Games Today (Mall of Asia Arena)
3 p.m. – Alaska vs Barako Bull
5:15 p.m. – Ginebra vs Rain or Shine

Globalport rookie Terrence Romeo scored 34 points, the highest point-production for a freshman in seven years, as he powered the Batang Pier to a 114-110 win over the Air21 Express last night in the 2014 PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Romeo went 10-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-9 from the three-point territory and converted 8-of-9 from the free throw line while adding six rebounds, three assists in 32 minutes of action off the bench.

Jay Washington finished with double-double 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Sol Mercado had 14 points with four rebounds and seven assists as the Batang Pier rebounded from a 97-87 season debut defeat to the Petron Blaze Boosters last Wednesday.

Former PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Erik Menk was impressive in his return, adding seven points and 10 rebounds as the starting center for Globalport in the Saturday games presented by Petron.

The 34-point production of Romeo was the highest for a rookie in seven years, or since former No. 1 overall pick Kelly Williams fired 35 points in a 121-118 overtime victory against Air21 in the 2006-07 Philippine Cup.

“Gusto ko makabawi after nung first game ko sa PBA, sobrang nangibabaw ‘yung kaba sa first game,” said Romeo, who scored 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 from the foul line versus Petron Blaze. “Ngayon medyo naka-adjust na ako, kahit papano relax ako sa game kasi nung una andun ‘yung excitement e.”

With the win, Globalport, which finished with a 1-13 record last season in this same conference, improved to 1-1.

“It’s a good thing we were able to make our three-point shots,” said Globalport interim coach Ritchie Ticzon, who earned his first win after replacing Junel Baculi during the off-season. “Basically that’s our forte as a team.”

“Terrence Romeo is really special. Everyone knows that even in the UAAP, we all know that (he’s a scorer). I really hope meron pang wins to come. The monkey’s off my back, that win motivates me to strive harder as a coach,” added the 41-year-old Ticzon.

Air21 dropped to 0-2 after losing to Barako Bull last Wednesday, 87-74. The Express got 24 points from Joseph Yeo, while Asi Taulava had 21 and 15 rebounds.

The scores:
First game:
GlobalPort 114 – Romeo 34, Washington 19, Mercado 14, Ponferrada 8, Menk 7, Salvador 7, Garcia 7, Belencion 6, Najorda 6, Salva 4, Hayes 2.

Air21 100 – Yeo 24, Taulava 21, Jaime 13, Canaleta 11, Custodio 8, Manuel 8, Camson 6, Espiritu 3, Sharma 3, Ritualo 3, Menor 0, Arboleda 0.

Quarters: 20-18, 47-46, 83-74, 114-100.

Second game:
Petron 77 – Santos 15, Lassiter 13, Lutz 12, Fajardo 10, Kramer 10, Hubalde 8, Ross 6, Deutchman 3, Duncil 0.

Talk N’ Text 63 – Castro 15, Baclao 10, Alapag 9, Fonacier 8, Anthony 7, Poligrates 4, Williams 3, Aban 2, Ferriols 2, Carey 2, Peek 1, Reyes 0.

Quarters: 22-12, 55-32, 68-51, 77-63