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PBA: Romeo’s return

Terrence Romeo and Mark Caquioa

“Terrence is back.”

Globalport coach Pido Jarencio uttered this in reference to sophomore guard Terrence Romeo after the team’s 105-97 win over Talk ’N Text in the PBA Philippine Cup last Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Jarencio was clearly ecstatic as Romeo snapped out of a shooting slump when he exploded for 30 points to lead Globalport’s historic win as it finally found a way to beat TNT after going 0-7 since the Mikee Romero-owned franchise entered the PBA back in 2012.

“Kausap ko siya, ang sabi ko kanya ‘basta ready ka lang,’” said Jarencio yesterday when contacted by Tempo.

“Kailangan lang talaga ng bata e kumpiyansya. Sabi ko nga i-tira lang nya, papasok din yan. Kapag pumasok, tuluy-tuloy na yan. May winning attitude naman, kailangan lang magka-kumpiyansa,” added Jarencio.

Prior to the game, Romeo averaged just 4.75 points in the last four games of Globalport. That was after his 33-point performance on 14-of-26 shooting from the field in a 101-96 loss to newcomer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) in the team’s season debut last Oct. 21.

Aside from his scoring average in the four previous games, the former stalwart of Far Eastern University shot a combined 6-of-38 from the field, which led to limited playing time for the 5-foot-11 guard.

Romeo scored nine points in 28 minutes in a 91-81 win against Barako Bull, five points in 18 minutes in an 81-75 defeat to Grand Slam champion Purefoods Star, two points in 14 minutes in a 79-84 victory over expansion team Kia, and three points in nine minutes in an 86-83 loss to Rain or Shine.

During his struggles, Romeo – the No. 5 overall pick of Globalport in last year’s Rookie Draft – said he just kept on working hard with his shooting and his stamina to be able to have the energy in the endgame.

“Nag-extra shooting ako sa ensayo, saka jogging to stay in shape. Talagang extra work sa ensayo,” said Romeo.

Against Talk ’N Text, Jarencio tweaked his rotation a bit especially with rookie forward Anthony Semerad out with fever and that gave Romeo and other players more playing time.

After scoring just two points in the opening period, Romeo fired 11 points in the second quarter. Romeo then scored 17 points in the second half, including 11 in the final frame.

Ronjay Buenafe, another Globalport gunner, also scored 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. Top rookie pick Stanley Pringle and Mark Isip also scored 13 points each, while Alex Cabagnot had 10 points, seven boards and eight assists.

Overall, Romeo shot 8-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-9 from three-point territory. He also nailed 9-of-10 from the free throw line while adding two rebounds and three assists in almost 33 minutes of action.