by Waylon Galvez
San Miguel Beer guard Terrence Romeo finally got his first career championship after the Beermen downed the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok in Game 7, 72-71, of the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
According to Romeo, his first title as a basketball player is not just a dream come true for him, but more importantly for his parents.
“Ito yung dream ng papa ko, ito yunng dream ng mama ko… pangarap nila ito para sa akin (This is my father’s dream, my mother’s dream… this is their dream for me,” said Romeo.
“Napakasaya ko kasi natupad ko yung pangarap ko (I’m very happy to reach my dream),” he added.
Romeo recounted his failed bids for a championship, which dates back with his playing days with the Letran Squires and the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws in high school.
Though he bagged Rookie of the Year honors in 2011 and Most Valuable Player plum during the 2014 UAAP season, Romeo failed to lead the Tamaraws to a title in the seniors’ division.
“Ito yung first championship ko simula nung naging basketball player ako (This is my first championship since I started playing basketball,” said the now 27-year-old Romeo, who joined the PBA in 2013 as the fifth overall pick of GlobalPort during the PBA Rookie Draft.
Considered as one of the best one-on-one players in the league, Romeo struggled reaching that goal of winning a title even though he won several individual awards during his first six years in the PBA playing for two different teams – NorthPort and TNT KaTropa.
San Miguel got his services prior to the season, and the 5-foot-11 Romeo slowly but surely fit into the system of head coach Leo Austria as a backup guard. He said he is grateful to management for the trust and confidence – particularly SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
For now, Romeo said he will savor the moment with his teammates, but he promised to come back better after scoring just four points in the decisive game of the Finals.
Despite his struggles, he played solid on the defensive end as he grabbed seven rebounds while limiting Magnolia guards Marc Barroca and Jio Jalalon to single digit in scoring.
“At the start medyo pinipilit ko maka-score, pero nung hindi ko talaga makuha rhythm ko, sa ibang aspect na ng game ako tumulong (I can’t score, I can’t find my rhythm, so I tried to help in other aspects),” said Romeo.
“I hope mag-improve pa ako, mas pag-sisipagan ko pa… yung sinabi ko na mag-retire ako, biro lang yun. Siyempre unang title ‘to, gusto ko suklian yung magandang ginagawa sa akin ng team (I hope to improve, I’ll work harder. The thing I said about retiring, that was a joke. Now that I got my first title, now I want to give back to the team all the good things they did to me),” said Romeo.