Terrence Romeo dreams of playing for Gilas Pilipinas
MANILA, Philippines – Terrence Romeo has a number of dreams for his basketball career. One of them is winning his first PBA championship, and another is playing for national men’s basketball team Gilas Pilipinas.
The 23-year old Globalport guard expressed his eagerness to represent the Philippines after he was dubbed Most Improved Player of the 2015 PBA season on Friday, July 17 during the annual Leo Awards at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Sobrang paghahandaan ko if ever mabigyan ako ng chance ma-represent yung country kasi bata pa ko dream ko na yun e,” he shared fervently. (I will prepare hard for it if ever I be given a chance to represent the country because that’s been my dream since I was a kid.)
Romeo, who was also a Second Mythical Team selection this year, declared that playing for flag and country is the biggest missing piece of his young career so far.
“Every time na lang simula high school ako hanggang college, lagi lang almost ako makapag-represent ng country,” he said. “Yun na lang yung isa sa bubuo sa career ko sa basketball pag nakapaglaro ako ng Gilas.”
(Every time since high school and then college, I always ended up almost representing the country. That will complete my basketball career if I’m able to play for Gilas.)
Romeo’s only stint so far with the nationals has been with the Manila West 3x3 squad that won the Manila Masters title last year. They exited, however, in the quarterfinals during the FIBA World Tour Finals. He is set to resume duties with the team this year when the Metro hosts the Manila Masters leg once more.
The former UAAP MVP has long been in conversation for a spot in the Gilas pool ahead of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship happening in Changsa, China this September.
From the moment he was appointed as national team head coach, Tab Baldwin was immediately asked about including Romeo in his pool. But the veteran coach suggests that the 5-foot-9 Romeo was too small for international play.
Romeo has reportedly already spoken with Baldwin in the past few months as the coach formed his 26-man pool that is yet to be revealed. Globalport owner Mikee Romero likewise said he is willing to lend Romeo to Gilas should he be called up, according to team manager Bonnie Tan.
The sophomore known for his highlight reel moves is fast rising as one of the PBA’s big stars. He experienced a fruitful season with a number of recognitions, including being crowned PBA All-Star MVP and Three-Point Shootout champion in his first All-Star appearance this year.
He also posted a record 50 points in the Rookies vs Sophomores All-Star game.
Romeo had a marked improvement statistically as he rose from an average of 12.43 points in his rookie year to 19.66 points this year.
With his much improved game, Romeo led Globalport in tandem with newly minted Rookie of the Year Stanley Pringle to the franchise’s first-ever twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs during the Governors’ Cup.
Aside from international play, Romeo also dreams of a PBA title and one other he refused to reveal.
“Makapag-champion. Marami pa ko gusto ma-achieve,” he said. “Ngayon may bago akong gusto, sana makuha ko yun, pero sa akin na lang muna.”
(To become a champion. I have plenty more I want to achieve. Now I have something new in mind, I hope I can achieve it, but I’ll keep it to myself for now.)
Romeo admits he is not fully conscious of the specifics in his game he needs to work on come next season. All he knows for sure is that he endeavors to come back stronger.
“Basta kung ano yung performance ko last year kailangan mahigitan ko. Yun lang yung thinking ko.” (Whatever my performance was the previous year I just want to do better. That’s all I’m thinking.) – Rappler.com