Rivals turn into fans as Malaysian players take selfies with Terrence Romeo after Gilas romp
A Malaysian player poses for a photo with Gilas star Terrence Romeo. Jerome Ascano

FOES immediately turned into fans as Malaysian players requested photos with Terrence Romeo after Gilas Pilipinas’ 106-51 victory in the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship on Sunday night.

Romeo got star treatment on Sunday night, with the Malaysians hardly caring that the Philippines had just demolished them by 55 points as they lined up, one by one, to have their turn with the PBA superstar.

“Nagulat ako,” Romeo admitted. “Yung iba, sabi sa akin na idol ako, so nakakatuwa na kahit taga-ibang bansa, iniidolo tayong mga Pilipino.”

“Masaya ako na nakakapag-inspire rin ako ng ibang players sa ibang bansa,” he added. “Sana makalaro ko ulit sila darating pa na panahon.”

[See Gilas clobbers Malaysia in another Seaba show of force]

Romeo showed why he’s also well-known outside the country as he dazzled the Big Dome crowd with some individual brilliance to contribute to another lopsided victory.

The flamboyant 25-year-old playmaker also showed his ball distribution as he dished off a game-high seven assists, on top of 12 points, one board, and one steal against one turnover in almost 17 minutes off the bench.

Asked if being a pass-first point is his priority at Gilas, the Globalport cornerstone agreed, but also insisted he’s yet to be fully healthy to carry more of the offensive load.

“Isa rin yun (pagiging pass first),” Romeo said. “Gusto ko ma-evolve yung laro ko. Tapos hindi (ako) ganun ka-kundisyon like yung talagang kundisyon ako, makikita niyo naman yung kilos, ‘di ba?”

“So gusto ko dumating yung point na kundisyon ako, alam ko na kung paano maglaro ng mas as a team, kung paano ko mapapagaling yung mga kasama ko,” he added.

[See Malaysia coach savors chance to play against 'dream team o Philippines]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos