PBA: WHAT'S UP, BRO? Terrence now has no excuse for his title quest with TNT
Paul Lintag on Apr 04, 2018 05:31 PM
With TNT, not only is Romeo getting a fresh start, his title quest takes a more serious turn with the KaTropa. He also has no more excuses for not making it past the quarterfinal round.
No. 7 Globalport was pounding No. 2 Magnolia in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
The Batang Pier's offense simply overwhelmed the Hotshots' signature defense early in their playoff game and it looked like the league's lone neon green team was on its way to forcing a knockout game against Magnolia after taking a 20-point lead.
But then things unraveled for Globalport.
The peak of the Batang Pier's collapse was in the third quarter, when after the Hotshots finally took the lead, head coach Pido Jarencio and star guard Terrence Romeo figured in an intense shouting match at the team's bench.
Both Jarencio and Romeo traded heated words towards each other before cooler heads within the team prevailed.
Globalport was eliminated from the All-Filipino after a seven-point loss and both Jarencio and Romeo brushed off the incident.
They said it was just part of the game. "Nagkasarapan lang," Pido even said.
But after recent developments, the incident proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back.
After months of trade rumors, Romeo and Jarencio going off on each other gave a strong hint that it was only a matter of time before Terrence was finally dealt to another team. That or Globalport was giving up on Pido for a third time.
OH IT'S TRUE
On Tuesday, April 3, barely a month after Pido Jarencio and Terrence Romeo's shouting match mid-game, the Batang Pier sent their star guard to TNT in a blockbuster trade.
The deal was pretty simple, the KaTropa got Terrence and Yousef Taha while Globalport acquired former top pick Mo Tautuaa together with two more future picks, one first rounder and another one in the second round.
Globalport said the trade was a difficult decision, but it was made nonetheless.
"It's sad to let go one of the hottest players in the land, but we will not stand in the way of one's desire and happiness. So with a heavy heart, we are trading our top star," Globalport team manager Bonnie Tan said in a statement.
What's the purpose of trades really?
You want to improve your team of course. You don't make the trade if you're not getting someone better in return.
Terrence's involvement in this blockbuster swap basically means that TNT won the trade, right?
Obviously, Romeo will make any team better. Despite their struggles this season, the KaTropa still have key pieces to work with. Terrence will make the flagship MVP franchise better.
Add Yousef Taha in the mix and the KaTropa looks like they found the true center they've been looking for for a while now.
As for Mo, the former top pick has the chance to finally realize his potential over at Globalport.
"Well in effect, as I’ve been mentioning, it’s a win-win for everyone. Win-win in the sense that for us, who wouldn’t like to pick up the basketball skills of Romeo, right?" TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio said.
"Win-win for Mo because he has not really flourished in the [TNT] system. I believe moving him there [to Globalport] he will become a better player because the coach is very known for developing good big men players and it’s a proven," he added.
The Batang Pier seem to like their haul as well even despite losing a player in the caliber of Romeo.
"Tautuaa could be the missing link to our championship aspiration," Tan said on the part of Globalport.
One of the reasons why Terrence Romeo is so popular, aside from the obvious thing of him being an amazing player, is the fact that he plays for Globalport.
Oh well, used to play for Globalport.
In a league where the power struggle is between two main groups, that of San Miguel and that of MVP's, Romeo emerged as an independent darling.
You can all argue about Globalport's actual position in the PBA, but the fact remains, much like Alaska's Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo playing for the Batang Pier was a refreshing sight.
And in the five years that Terrence stayed with the Batang Pier, he was drafted fifth overall by the team in 2013, he seemed to really like playing for Globalport.
It made perfect sense really.
Globalport had its star and Romeo had the chance to carve his own niche in the league.
Well, no niche was carved and Globalport didn't exactly win anything with its top star.
The end of their partnership, one that was filled with trade rumors and most probably some behind-the-scenes tension, makes this story a little tragic.
It's why Romeo is just happy to move on.
"Sakin hindi na mahalaga yun eh," Romeo said on the manner of his exit from the Batang Pier.
"Hindi ko na ini-isip yung Globalport. Nakapag-thank you na ako sa kanila. Nakapagpa-salamat na ako kay boss Mikee [Romero], sa mga taong dapat kong pasalamatan. Ngayon focus ko lang is kung paano matutulungan yung TNT," he added.
While the trade finally happened, the issue that still lingers now is if Romeo actually asked to be traded.
Some reports suggested that Terrence wanted out of Globalport.
Romeo would rather not deal with it though. After all, he's no longer with the Batang Pier. He's a KaTropa now.
His TNT debut will actually come against Globalport in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup. Terrence will get his true closure then.
"Ang masasabi ko lang dito ano, kailangan kong mag-focus para sa parating naming game sa opening namin sa GlobalPort tapos magpe-prepare ako, ibibigay ko yung best ko," he said.
"Doon sa mga fans na nagtatanong, siguro ano, move on na lang tayo tapos abangan na lang natin yung mga susunod na mangyayari," Romeo added.
TERRENCE'S TITLE QUEST
What's the knock on Terrence Romeo the basketball player?
Right, the guy hasn't won anything yet.
Romeo won MVP in the UAAP for FEU but he never led the Tamaraws to the title.
He has three PBA scoring championships and yet the Batang Pier only made it to the semifinals once in his tenure there. Globalport then only lasted five games in that round.
With TNT, not only is Romeo getting a fresh start, his title quest takes a more serious turn with the KaTropa.
He also has no more excuses for not making it past the quarterfinal round.
"Isa yun sa pinaka pumasok sa isip ko, yung winning culture ng TNT," Romeo said.
"First time lang naman ako na-trade, dito ako bumagsak sa TNT and yung winning culture nila, kailangan hindi yun matapos. Kumbaga, sana mapagtulung-tulungan namin na makabalik kami ulit doon na sama-sama kami. Hindi lang naman ako lang eh, sama-sama kami buong TNT," he added.
Easier said than done right?
And Romeo knows that. That's why while his move to TNT appear to ship the KaTropa right back on track on paper, the work has to be put in first for that to actually happen.
"Syempre kailangan mas maraming work kaysa salita," Terrence said.
"Para sakin importante parin yung gagawin namin sa practice. Kasi madali lang sabihin yung mga salita eh, iba pa rin pag gagawin mo na. Para sakin hindi ko pa ini-isip. Ang gusto ko lang is mag-trabaho, makatulong sa team, tapos magampanan ko yung role ko para sa team namin, yun yung pinakaini-isip ko. Yung championship, yung pag-punta namin ng semis, susunod na lang yun eh kapagka tama yung preparation namin, tapos nakuha namin yung chemistry ng isa’t isa, tapos sinunod namin nang maayos yung game plan, yung depensa namin, lahat yan susunod na lang," Romeo added.
THE BLUR AND JIMMY EFFECT
Much like in Globalport, Romeo will have a star running mate at the guard spot.
But unlike in Globalport, where you have a hard time knowing who's the real alpha between Romeo and Stanley Pringle, there is only one true alpha in TNT.
And that was, and still is, Jayson Castro.
After one day of practice with the KaTropa, Romeo has realized for himself that where the Blur goes, the KaTropa will follow.
"Yung sa part ko kasi, si kuya Jayson kahit anong mangyari si kuya Jason na yan eh," Romeo said of Castro.
"Kumbaga, sobrang laki na ng napatunayan niya sa PBA. Kakaiba na yung nagawa niya even sa national team. So sa part ko, kailangan maka-tulong ako sa kanya. Kailangan mapa-gaan ko yung trabaho niya, yun yung pinakaini-isip ko," he added.
The newly-formed Castro-Romeo tandem also appears to be an upgraded version of the former Alapag-Castro tandem that terrorized the opposition early in the decade.
When the Mighty Mouse and the Blur were running point, TNT came to being one win away from a Grand Slam. After a failed shot at a triple crown, the duo regrouped and led the then Tropang Texters to the Perpetual Trophy.
With the way things are built now, Castro has taken the role of Alapag, the undisputed leader. In exchange, Romeo will assume the role of Castro before, the unstoppable weapon.
However, Terrence is not into rushing himself with the KaTropa. He has to win a title first before there is talk of a new super tandem in TNT.
"Naku, iba pa rin yung kuya Jimmy. Yung tandem nila kasi talagang nakapag-champion na sila ng ibang beses eh," he said.
TITLE OR BUST
Terrence's trade from Globaport to TNT is more or less a humbling experience.
Romeo acknowledges the fact that the KaTropa will be a different team compared to the Batang Pier. Things are done a certain way in TNT.
Terrence wants to fit in. He's excited to fit in actually.
"Sobra akong na-excite kasi nga, ano to eh, pakiramdam ko rookie ako ulit," he said.
"Kailangan ma-earn mo yung respect ng mga teammates mo, ng management mo, kaya parang rookie ako ulit. Kasi iba naman yung ginawa ko sa Globalport eh," Romeo added.
After picking up almost all individual awards possible while wearing neon green, Romeo wants some gold in his new stint wearing blue.
Nothing else seems to matter now.
"Kung ano man yung naging accomplishment ko... accomplishments ko dun sa GlobalPort, mananatili na yun dun," he said.
"Dito kailangan makagawa ako ng mas maganda, which is lahat naman nakuha ko nang award eh. Naging mythical na ko, naging scoring champ, most improved, so ano na lang... ang pinaka-pangarap ko na lang is yung makapag-laro ng Finals and makuha yung championship. Yun talaga yung pinaka-dream ko. So sana, sana pagtulungan naming lahat and makuha namin," Romeo added.
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