Romeo leads FEU back to victory

Danielle Nakpil
Terrence Romeo displayed his deadly form anew as FEU returned to victory.

FIRE IS BACK. Romeo pounded UE with 30 points. File photo by Rappler/Mark Marcaida.

MANILA, Philippines — After back-to-back defeats to open the second round, the Far Eastern University finally got back on track this weekend, but they had to go through University of the East in double overtime.

Playing minus RR Garcia, the Tamaraws needed all of what’s left of their arsenal as they faced the gritty Red Warriors who were enjoying a streak of their own. And after dismal games coming off the long mid-season break, Terrence Romeo rightly obliged.

Back to form

Romeo, who led the league in scoring after the first round, flashed his deadly MVP form once again as he scattered a career-high 30 points against UE to get their hunt for redemption going once more.

More importantly, it was him who made the shots that mattered, scoring 5 crucial points in the second extra period – a total turnaround from his lackluster second round start.

“Hindi ko naisip na magiging ganoon kaganda ‘yung laro ko kasi grabe ang depensa ng UE. Basta gumawa lang ako ng way kung paano ako makakatira, kung paano ko matutulungan ‘yung team,” Romeo, who averaged 22.6 points in the first round, said.

(I didn’t expect that I would play that well because of the stingy defense UE gave me. I just found a way to shoot and to help my team.)

Against National University last week, an evidently rusty Romeo was limited to just 8, throwing bricks all around. To make matters worse, it was him who helped the Bulldogs deal FEU its first loss of the season after he turned the ball over in the dying seconds for a Bobby Ray Parks getaway.

Last night, he more than made up for that and coach Nash Racela knows it.

“Ang daming assists ngayon ni Terrence ah,” teased Racela of his boy – who piled up 4 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals – in the post game press conference.

(Terrence had a lot of assists today.)

No RR, no problem

Without their leader on the court, FEU’s second stringers needed to step up against UE if they wanted to avoid a 3rd straight loss.

And step up is what they did as Gryann Mendoza and Mike Tolomia provided Romeo the support as they added 15 and 13 points respectively for the Morayta-based squad.

“Sinabihan ko ‘yung team na kailangan talaga naming mag-step up lalo na ‘yung mga walang playing time,” Romeo said. “Sobrang proud ako sa kanila.”

(I told the team that they really have to step up, especially those who don’t get a lot of playing time. I am so proud of them.)

Tougher road ahead

The Tamaraws will be facing the red-hot Ateneo Blue Eagles – who just got their 4th straight win at the expense of Adamson University – next.

“Mas pagbubutihan namin ang depensa namin. Ateneo is Ateneo. Gagawin namin ang lahat,” Romeo assured Rappler in an interview. “Ang laki ng kinumpiyansa namin [after first round sweep]. Dapat hindi kami makuntento.”

(We will improve our defense. Ateneo is Ateneo. We will do everything to beat them. We had a lot of confidence (after our first round sweep) but we cannot be contented with that.)

It’s going to be a tough battle for them against the defending champs next week. But with Garcia returning and the rest of the Tamaraws gaining momentum, things are looking good for the hungry FEU side. –

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