Two days after Terrence Romeo scored a career-high 41 points in a losing effort, the blonde-haired flamboyant GlobalPort guard returned to the hardcourt with a different mindset.
This time, Romeo took a backseat early in the game and played the facilitator’s role.
The junior guard only finished with 21 points on 8-of-20 shooting, 13 less attempts than he had in a 98-111 loss to Mahindra 2 nights ago, but it resulted in an 89-85 conquest of Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night.
Against Mahindra, he tried to win it by himself. He was scoring against 2, 3 defenders and forgot his teammates. He was a beast with 41 points, but a lonely wolf in the pack with zero assist.
So when they took on the Gin Kings, Romeo made a conscious effort to involve his teammates early in the game and ended up with 6 assists. Three more GlobalPort players joined him in double figures with their import Brian Williams scoring 19 and grabbing 17 boards and Stanley Pringle and Billy Mamaril adding 14 and 12 points, respectively.
“Oo [naging conscious effort], kasi ‘yun nga naka-41 ako tapos natalo kami. So naisip ko na nahirapan ako kapag nahihirapan ‘yun mga kasama ko dahil ‘di tumataas ang kumpyansa nila,” Romeo told reporters after the game.
“Ang ginawa kong mindset is kailangan kong pataasin ang kumpyansa nila. ‘Yung iskor ko eh darating naman yan if ever mag-connect ang tira ko,” he added.
With different players challenging Barangay Ginebra’s defense, Romeo got plenty of good looks in the endgame.
Romeo hit a dagger trey with a less than a minute left that broke the hearts of the Kings and their die-hard fans on Valentine’s Day. But more than his crucial triple, it was evident that it was a different Romeo who showed up in this game.
Romeo’s maturity and leadership skills was on full display on this Sunday night, something which he acquired during his stint with Gilas Pilipinas last year.
“Isa ‘yun sa mga natutunan ko sa Gilas. Kailangan ko talaga idagdag sa game ko ‘yun,” Romeo told FOX Sports on Monday night after practicing with the national pool at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside the Ateneo de Manila campus.
Romeo remembered what his Gilas backcourt mate Jayson Castro told him at some point in the Jones Cup last year when he asked what he needs to do to help the team win.
He needs to learn to let go of the ball and trust that it will come back to him.