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PBA: Romeo’s evolution

GlobalPort ace guard Terrence Romeo still has that ‘killer crossover’ move that mesmerizes defenders, can pull up for a jumper even from the three-point area, and has the knack for fancy dribbling as he cuts through the defense like a knife for a layup or a teardrop shot.

This season, however, team mates, players from rival teams, coaches and even observers are seeing a different Romeo – one that now creates scoring opportunities for his teammates.

“Malaki yung pinag-bago ng game ni Terrence this conference,” said Globalport forward KG Canaleta, who – even at 6-foot-6 – used to guard the 5-foot-11 Romeo when he was still playing for other teams.

“Scorer pa din siya, one of the best, pero ang maganda sa game niya ngayon mas nag-improve or tumaas yung assist averages niya. Mas nagkaroon ng confidence and mas dangerous,” added Canaleta, obtained by GlobalPort as a free agent during the pre-season.

In the four matches that the Batang Pier have played, Romeo has averaged five assists per game while averaging 27 points with 1.75 steals in the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup.

In his first three seasons in the pro league, the former Far Eastern University stalwart only averaged a little more than three assists per game, giving Globalport coach Franz Pumaren a reason to be excited with what a ‘new look’ Romeo can do when he is inside the court.

“Terrence is a different breed,” said Pumaren.

“He’s really talented, right now he’s playing aggressive defense and he’s moving the ball. He’s the new Terrence Romeo, someone who can really change the game and make his teammates look good.”

Romeo remains as deadly on the offensive end as he torched Governors’ Cup champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel with 35 points in a 91-84 win Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The victory pushed the Batang Pier back on top of the standings in a three-way tie with Rain or Shine and defending champion San Miguel Beer all with 3-1 cards, and it also allowed GlobalPort to bounce back from a 95-84 setback to the Alaska Aces Dec. 7.

JR Quiñahan, another recruit in the offseason via a trade with Rain or Shine, pointed to the fact that the veterans like him, Canaleta, Mike Cortez and Mick Pennisi, have helped Romeo’s confidence.

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