TAIPEI - As player and coach walked to the press room for the post-match interview, Tab Baldwin asked Terrence Romeo if he needed any help with the questions, volunteering to be his interpreter if he needed one.
Baldwin was joking of course; but he was also returning a favor.
Just minutes earlier, Romeo had starred in what was easily the best Gilas Pilipinas performance in Baldwin's short reign, scoring a team-high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting in an impressive 77-69 win over host Chinese-Taipei in the 37th Jones Cup on Sunday night.
The blonde-haired guard laughed off Baldwin's offer then breezed through the interview with the mostly Taiwanese media, saying all the right things in the same manner that he couldn't do no wrong for Gilas in the match just minutes earlier at the Xinchuang Stadium.
"I'm happy because for every Filipino that came here, we gave them something (to cheer about)," said the GlobalPort guard, who also had two rebounds, four steals, and three turnovers in 20 minutes on the floor.
Baldwin, however, is the least surprised by Romeo's performance, saying 'it is no fluke.'
"This is not a fluke game from Terrence," Baldwin, who personally handpicked Romeo for Gilas duty, told the international media. "He is a professional who works at his craft, and he works harder at his craft than any Filipino player I've seen.
"He deserves the respect and admiration he’s getting now. Some games may not be like this for him but he definitely works hard at it."
[See Star turn for Romeo, Abueva as Gilas beats host Taipei in Jones Cup debut]
Baldwin was also full of praise for Romeo's fellow newcomer Calvin Abueva, who came off the bench to score 15 points and grab five rebounds in 13:52 minutes on the floor.
"He's a ball of energy, doing all the things that Calvin does,' Baldwin said of 'The Beast.' "Calvin is just being Calvin. He's someone unique, you don’t always see a player like that. His energy is extraordinary, like solar energy or something."