Mamaril sees Romeo, Pringle duo as Fast and Furious 2.0
MANILA, Philippines – Spearheading fastbreaks, orchestrating plays, zipping past confused defenders and burning the bottom of the net in an endless variety of ways – the backcourt duo of Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo is certainly now a force to be reckoned with in the PBA.
As swiftly as they moved on the court, Pringle and Romeo were just as rapidly dubbed as the “Fast and the Furious” 2.0.
“They’re definitely the best backcourt (partners). I (can) almost say it as a ‘Fast and Furious 2.0’,” veteran Billy Mamaril compared the Batang Pier guards to his ex-teammates and original “Fast and Furious” duo Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand.
The veteran Ginebra two-guard tandem of Caguioa and Helterbrand rose to prominence in the 2004-2005 season, leading the team to back-to-back championship runs.
For Globalport a decade later, Pringle and Romeo led the franchise to its first-ever semifinals appearance since joining the league in 2012.
The pair lead the team in scoring this 2016 PBA Philippine Cup with Romeo averaging 24 points and Pringle 21 points.
Both conspired for 5 straight points in overtime which created the critical separation from Ginebra in Globalport’s 84-83 win Sunday, December 27.
“There’s no one like them (Pringle and Romeo), that’s the main difference. Everyone else is just supporting them,” said Mamaril, 35, who played for the Gin Kings for almost a decade and won two championships with Caguioa and Helterbrand.
Romeo, drafted 5th overall in 2013, and Pringle, picked first overall the following year, are walking highlight reel-makers. They shine on the court every game but during the knockout quarterfinals against Ginebra, they got much-needed help from team vets including Mamaril.
Mamaril was instrumental to the win as he scored the game-tying basket late in regulation and forced overtime with a crucial block on LA Tenorio’s potential game-winner.
“As a pro basketball player there’s nowhere else you want to be than that situation,” he reflected, “that’s what you dream of as a kid: game on the line, do your fundamentals, keep it simple. Nothing, just make a basket, make a stop.”
But still, the controversial victory is a bittersweet achievement against the team that was his old home.
“More than the sweetness, it’s bittersweet. I wish I could take them (Ginebra) with me,” he said, “but I’m happy with this group right here. They’re young and full of excitement.”
Mamaril’s experience will play a bigger role when the youthful and less experienced Globalport take on the battle-tested Alaska in a best-of-7 semis series starting Monday, January 4 at 7 pm. (SCHEDULE: 2016 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals)
“I’m happy for them,” he said. “This is the first time they got to the semis. Me, as a veteran, I got to guide them.” – Rappler.com