Terrence Romeo is the present and future of Gilas Pilipinas

Paul Lintag on Aug 21, 2017 09:17 AM
Terrence Romeo is the present and future of Gilas Pilipinas
The 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup might have been the start of the Terrence Romeo era for Gilas Pilipinas. (FIBA)

There's no denying that Gilas Pilipinas had a little bit of a disappointing finish in the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup.

After sweeping Group B, including a sensational victory over defending champion China, expectations were all of a sudden high for the Philippine men's national team.

Maybe, just maybe, this was the year the country can finally regain its place on top of the Asian basketball scene. And then the Korean Ghost reappeared and in one swift blow, Gilas Pilipinas was sent packing in the quarterfinals.

Demoralized by a 32-point beating at the hands of South Korea, Gilas had no answer for host Lebanon to start the classification round.

In the end, with just enough Puso, the Philippines managed to frustrate Jordan and salvaged 7th place.

This didn't turn out to be an ideal tournament for the national team, however, if you want look at the brighter side of life, the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup proved one thing.

And that one thing is that Terrence Romeo is the present and future of Gilas Pilipinas.

Terrence Romeo emerged as the number 1 scorer for the Philippines in Beirut, going for 17.8 points per game in just a little over 21 minutes per outing.

Romeo didn't start one game.

Say what you will about Terrence's penchant for isolation plays and fancy dribbling, but the Bro has come through for Gilas Pilipinas every time the national team needed him.

He started the tournament with a big one after he dropped 26 points against China. More importantly, it was him that made the clutch baskets that allowed the Philippines to hold on for the win.

Against Iraq, he helped spark a third-quarter uprising by Gilas Pilipinas.

When he was matched up against Korea, Romeo poured 22 points all in the second quarter. Sure, he never scored the rest of the way as the Koreans  broke the game wide open but don't dare forget theat Gilas was already down 19 in the second quarter.

If not for Romeo, the Philippines might have suffered a far worse beating at the hands of its greatest Asian rivals

Fighting to leave Lebanon with a victory, it was once again Terrence that provided the answer for Gilas Pilipinas as it solved the Jordan puzzle just in the nick of time

After firing blanks all game long, Romeo drilled a clutch three that pushed the Philippines to within one point in the final minute.

It was also Terrence that made the play leading to Japeth Aguilar's go-ahead bucket. Then finally, as if proving that he can also be effective on defense if he tried to, Romeo helped force a Jordan turnover and Gilas Pilipinas iced the win.

But before we crown Terrence as the savior of the national team, let's acknowledge that Romeo might never evolve to be Gilas Pilipinas' main guard. The national team prides itself in running a system that best utilizes our natural advantages like speed and shooting.

The Bro is not exactly one of the best system players. At least he hasn't proven to be one at this point of his career. He also works best as a two guard even if he demands the ball 99 percent of the time.

Despite all of this however, when all else fails, Gilas Pilipinas can always rely on Terrence to create something.

Anything really, because Romeo is arguably the best basketball weapon the Philippines has right now.

Romeo is also only 25 years old. If we're strictly just talking about the mission of once again winning the Asian championship, Terrence will be at his absolute prime by the time the next FIBA-Asia Cup comes in 2021.

The best is yet to come for the Pambansang Bro.

Say what you will about him but Terrence Romeo is the present and future of Gilas Pilipinas.

You better believe it, bro.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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