CEBU - There are doubts on the ability of Terrence Romeo to blend in at San Miguel, but a former teammate believes playing alongside the PBA's biggest stars in the league's most successful team will bring the best out of the flamboyant guard.
"It will just bring out the best in Terrence and the fans would appreciate kung ano ang maipapakita ni Terrence with this team," Dondon Hontiveros said.
Romeo and Hontiveros were teammates in the Gilas Pilipinas side that Tab Baldwin steered to a silver medal of the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China.
The Cebuano great has no doubt a competitor and hard-worker like Romeo can only bring positive things to a Beermen side gunning for a fifth straight all-Filipino title in this 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
"Ako, I'm excited for Terrence. He's really one of those guys who are willing to put in the work," Hontiveros said of Romeo, who was traded by TNT to SMB in exchange for David Semerad, Brian Heruela, and a future first-round draft pick.
"I guess with him being one of the younger guys then, nakita ko yung sipag niya at ina-absorb niya ang suggestions ng mga players. There's another side of him na nakita ko when I was with him in 2015 na he's doing his role to perfection."
Hontiveros, whose old No. 7 jersey is set to be worn by Romeo at San Miguel, couldn't help but feel saddened by stories that came out putting the former FEU star in a bad light following his sudden departure from TNT.
"It's just unfortunate and sad na 'yung mga nababasa natin about him. At the same time, pressured sila. If it won't work out, may magsasabi na it might be Terrence, pero if it works out, may magsasabi na Terrence accepted his role," he said.
Still, Hontiveros is confident that Romeo will come out a better player after that experience, especially now that he's in a championship-winning team like San Miguel.
"Talagang gagaling pa siya kasi everyday, you're competing for the spot, fighting to show that you deserve to play the most minutes. Yun ang goal ko when I was there in San Miguel eh. Yes, I was a starter, pero as a player, yun ang hinahanap mo, yung competition," he said.
"So for him, maybe this is the time that he needs to really show na marami pa siyang pwedeng magawa. To be part of that loaded team na nagawa nila mag-coexist na ang dami nilang stars, makikita natin kung paano magre-respond si Terrence.
"I think it's the best time for Terrence na ilabas pa yung kaya niya ipakita. Individually, wala na tayong masasabi sa kanya but now, yung panalo na talaga ang hinahabol niya."