A day to remember for Romeo Travis

Delfin Dioquino
The American import notches a personal career-high on an injured hamstring to lead Magnolia to the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup finals

NEAR PROMISED LAND. Romeo Travis helps Magnolia reach the Governors' Cup finals for the first time since 2014. Photo from PBA Images

ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – November 16, 2018 is a date Magnolia import Romeo Travis would probably never forget.

Not only did Travis help the Hotshots return to the PBA Governors’ Cup finals for the first time since 2014, he did so by dropping a personal career-high in points despite dealing with a left hamstring injury. 

The American reinforcement erupted for a whopping 50 points to go with 13 rebounds and 3 steals as Magnolia hacked out a 112-108 win on Friday to topple Barangay Ginebra in 4 games of their best-of-five semifinals clash. 

“It was definitely a special day for me, I never scored like this before in my life,” he told reporters after the win. “It’s very special day for me, I’ll never forget it.” 

Last Wednesday, Travis suffered a double whammy in their 103-107 Game 3 loss after being limited to a PBA career-low 12 points and sustaining a hamstring injury. 

The injury cast doubt on the Hotshots’ chances, especially since the momentum were on the Gin Kings side after they stormed back from 18 points down in Game 3 to remain in the hunt for a third straight Governors’ Cup title. 

But Travis bucked the injury and played like a man possessed, hitting the half-century mark and catching fire for 21 big points in the 4th quarter that saw the Hotshots erase a five-point deficit with two minutes left. 

“This is my career-high. But I don’t shoot for career-highs you know, I don’t play that way. But I had to re-invent my game,” Travis added. 

“My wife is leaving on Sunday, I just didn’t want to play again honestly. I did not want to play again. I don’t know if I could physically play again so I just gave it all I had, I just put it all out there.” 

The semifinals triumph also left the redemption door wide open for the 33-year-old, who was swept by the San Miguel Beermen in the 2015 Governors’ Cup finals back when he was still with the Alaska Aces. 

“Last time I was here I laid an egg, I played very bad last time I was in the finals. I want redemption, that’s why I came back.” 

Travis has less than 3 weeks to recover from his injury with Game 1 of the finals slated on December 5.

The Hotshots await the winner between the Aces and the Meralco Bolts. Alaska leads the series, 2-1. Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.