TERRENCE Romeo’s reputation as an “individualistic” player during his college days isn't much of a concern for Globalport coach Junel Baculi.
Baculi said he is willing to select the UAAP Season 76 MVP out of Far Eastern University if he is available when the Batang Pier picks at seventh overall in the PBA Draft on Sunday - or at No. 6 if a trade with Barako Bull for Denok Miranda finally pushes through.
The Batang Pier coach said Romeo can potentially fill the void left by Gary David, who the team had traded to Meralco last week.
“We want to approximate ’yung nawalang production ni Gary,” said Baculi.
There is no question about the talent and potential of Romeo, who also won the college league's Rookie of the Year in 2010. However, the flamboyant star's “shoot-first” attitude during his time with the Tamaraws has made him a target of criticism.
Still, Baculi said he doesn’t mind Romeo’s reputation since Globalport has a lot of veterans who he feels can set the rookie straight.
“Kung ganoon man siya sa former team niya because they are the stars there, may mga superstars din naman tayo in J-Wash (Jay Washington), Sol (Mercado), and Willie Miller,” said Baculi.
“It’s a different ballgame. It’s a different scenario,” Baculi said.
Sources said Globalport was actually instrumental in convincing Romeo to make a last-minute decision to apply for the PBA draft even though he still has one year left with the Tamaraws - something Baculi refused to confirm or deny.
The last-minute decision of Romeo to apply for the PBA draft has also raised the possibility of him reuniting with FEU teammate RR Garcia in the pros. The two's playing years with FEU have been dogged by allegations that they did not go along.
Still, Baculi made it clear he won't hesitate to draft both Romeo and Garcia if the chance comes.
“Thank you! Thank you very much,” Baculi said with gusto.