CHANGSHA, China – Terrence Romeo had his best game with Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba-Asia Championship as he finally got his rhythm going in the team’s 99-65 shellacking of India at the end of the preliminary round on Tuesday.
The prolific shooting guard exploded for 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting while adding three rebounds, four assists, and three steals in the win that formally clinched for the Philippines the top spot in Group E going into the quarterfinal phase of this Olympic qualifying tournament.
But even in the aftermath of his best performance yet in the biennial meet, Romeo said he’s far from being satisfied and is looking forward to even getting better beginning in the knockout stage on Thursday.
“Kailangan hindi ako makuntento dito. Para sa akin, hindi pa rin ito ‘yung totoong game ko,” said the 22-year-old Gilas stalwart out of Far Eastern University, who caught the fancy of Asian basketball fans following his scintillating performance in last month’s Jones Cup in Taipei.
Romeo admitted having to adjust playing in the Fiba Asia that it took him a while before finally coming through with a breakout game.
That is not lost to coach Tab Baldwin.
“Terrence kinda had a silent tournament in the first round. But he certainly came to life against Iran, and today again he helped us out in the first half,” said the Gilas coach, noting how Romeo had 11 points in the first half to keep Gilas afloat at the break, 42-36, following a slow start.
Romeo later joined forces with Calvin Abueva, Marc Pingris, Andray Blatche, and Gabe Norwood as they sparked Gilas’ second half breakaway on the way to registering the team’s fifth straight win after losing its opening game against Palestine.
His confidence somehow boosted, Romeo said he still has a lot to show.
“Alam ko may maipapakita pa ako,” said the Globalport star.
Still, he was quick to acknowledge the big help he got from his team to finally showcase his true game.
“Team effort pa rin ito. Hindi naman ako makakapaglaro ng ganito kung hindi dahil sa mga teammates ko,” he said.