THE preseason match between GlobalPort and the visiting Kuwait national team was stopped late in the third quarter after Batang Pier guard Terrence Romeo nearly came to blows with a Kuwaiti player on Saturday at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
Romeo was shoved hard by Kuwait's No. 9 player during the dying seconds of the third canto, but no foul was called. Moments later, the GlobalPort guard claimed he was hit by the same Kuwaiti, triggering a scuffle that saw Romeo chasing the player infront of the visitors' bench.
GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio, along with several Batang Pier players, quickly pulled Romeo out of the scene to prevent the situation from escalating.
After GlobalPort teammates grabbed hold of Romeo, it was the Kuwaiti who went on the offensive, challenging the former FEU star to a fight.
No punches were thrown and the game was eventually called off by Kuwait's national coach with GlobalPort comfortably ahead, 71-49 with 0.9 second left in the third.
Romeo later told Spin.ph that he didn't start the melee - but wouldn't back down when challenged.
"Nung una kasi, nag-kickout pass ako, nilagyan ako ng paa, eh muntik ko na matapakan," Romeo said. "Tapos, nung pagbalik ko binangga niya ako, eh di pa rin naman ako gumanti. Pero nung nag-layup na ako, bigla nya ako hinampas tapos pagbaba ko, hinampas nya pa ako uli.
"Paghampas niya, medyo siyempre nag-iba na ang timpla nun kasi di na basketball yun eh."
The former UAAP MVP said he simply kept in mind Jarencio's constant reminders to his players to never allow themselves to be intimidated by anyone.
"Kay coach, walang problema yun (his act not to back down). Si coach Pido sanay na sa ganung laro yan eh (physical) pero ayaw niya ng di lumalaban," he said.
"Iyun ang lagi niyang sinasabi sa akin na di kami mangunguna pero di rin naman kami pwede takut takutin or ngarag ngaragin," said Romeo, who led the Batang Pier with 17 points and six assists.