Romeo ignores Ginebra’s boos on his way to first PBA semis
MANILA, Philippines – More than half of the Mall of Asia Arena gallery roared for the men in red Sunday, December 27, and rained boos for the guys in white. The jeers were a decibel higher for a certain young star with blonde hair.
But no matter how loud, Terrence Romeo would not be moved.
The 23-year old Globalport guard made a decision the night before to ignore inevitable boos from the throng of Barangay Ginebra fans in their knockout quarterfinals match in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup.
The decision paid off and he, together with backcourt partner Stanley Pringle, led Globalport to an 84-83 overtime victory and the franchise’s first-ever semifinals stint.
“Wala ko naririnig e. Boo sila ng boo sa akin. Gusto ko sana sila laruin. Actually nasa bahay ko pa lang ako alam ko nang i-boo ako nung mga yun e,” Romeo recounted the mind-setting he did prior to Sunday. “So bago ako matulog inisip ko na kahit anong boo nila hindi ako magre-react.”
(I didn’t hear anything. They kept booing me. I wanted to egg them on. Actually I was still at home and I already knew they would boo me. So before I slept I told myself no matter how much they boo me I would not react.)
Last season’s Most Improved Player torched the Gin Kings with 23 points on 5 triples to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.
So used to being the jeered player, Romeo blossomed in hostile environment once again, pulling out nearly every move from his arsenal: spinning to a stepback 3-pointer, killer crossovers, hesitation moves to confuse the defense – bouncing blonde hair and all – and just hitting one tough shot after another.
“Kumbaga stay lang yung focus ko sa game kahit ano mangyari,” he said. “Kahit mag-run sila kung napansin niyo hindi nagbabago yung emosyon ko, ganoon pa rin ako. Buti nagbunga.”
(I just stayed focused on the game whatever happened. Even if they made a run if you noticed I never showed any emotion, I stayed the same. Good thing it paid off.)
He and Pringle conspired for 5 straight points in overtime to give the Batang Pier the advantage and later on seal the win. Together with his team, Romeo, too, will march into the final four for the first time.
“It feels so good, this is my first semis in the PBA. All our hard work paid off,” he said in Filipino.
After a momentous on-court celebration that was lost amid the controversial ending, Romeo entered the press room with spirits soaring as he yelled to head coach Pido Jarencio: “Yes, coach!! Semis, coach!!”
(Watch Terrence Romeo's reaction at the 22-second mark of the video below)
#PBA Coach Pido Jarencio and Terrence Romeo after Globalport defeated GinebraPosted by Jane Yvette Bracher on Sunday, 27 December 2015
Romeo also won over the team he nearly ended up with during the 2013 rookie draft. Ginebra could have selected the former UAAP MVP out of Far Eastern University with the 4th pick, but instead went for the athletic James Forrester. Romeo landed in Globalport as the 5th overall pick that year.
Since then Romeo has been on a rampage in the PBA, appearing in the All-Star games and eventually seeing action on the international stage with national team Gilas Pilipinas.
Romeo will get a true acid test when Globalport takes on the favored Alaska in a best-of-7 semis series starting Monday, January 4 at 7 pm. (SCHEDULE: 2016 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals)
“I think this is just the start of the continued rise of our morale. If we apply all the good habits we learned in the quarterfinals to the next game and lessen our mistakes, I think we can keep up with them (Alaska),” he said.
“This is when we will truly be tested because this group will play in the semis for the first time.” – Rappler.com