Terrence Romeo says sorry but stands by 'brotherhood'
MANILA, Philippines – Terrence Romeo offered an apology but still stood by his actions in the Philippine-Australia brawl, claiming he only intended to protect teammate Roger Pogoy.
"Buong puso po akong humihingi ng kapatawaran sa lahat ng Pilipino, mga kabataan at sa mga ibang lahi na sumosuporta sa Gilas.. Taos puso rin akong humihingi ng pasensya sa lahat ng Australians at sa mga players nila," Romeo said in a statement posted on his social media accounts.
(I'm wholeheartedly asking for forgiveness from all the Filipinos, children, and other communities abroad who support Gilas... I'm also wholeheartedly asking for forgiveness from all the Australians and their players.)
"Para sa akin yan (joining the brawl) yung tama at paninindigan ko habang buhay. Yan din ang ituturo ko sa anak ko. Kahit anong mangyari wag mo iiwan ang kapatid, kaibigan at ang family mo sa oras ng kagipitan."
(For me, joining the brawl was right and I am standing by this forever. That's what I'm going to teach my kid. Whatever happens, don't leave your sibling, friend and family in times of despair.)
After the Philippines forfeited the July 2 game, Romeo immediately tweeted his side of the story and called out Gilas critics to "convert to Australian" if they continued to bash the team for figuring in a brawl in the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifier at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
But, two days after the infamous match, a more sober Romeo said it was unfortuante that the brawl occured. Still, he was proud of the team for helping each other.
Romeo said he would rather face online bashing than leave Pogoy – who got decked by Australian Daniel Kickert – alone on the court.
"Hindi kami proud na nakipag-away kami pero proud kami dahil nagtulungan kami at hindi namin iniwan ang isa't isa. Mas pipiliin ko na ma-bash ng kahit na sino tao matulungan ko lang at wag iwan ang mga kasamahan ko," said Romeo.
(We're not proud that we joined the brawl, but we're proud that we helped each other and we didn't leave each other behind. I would rather be bashed by others since I didn't leave my teammate behind.)