TERRENCE Romeo's name wasn't included on the list of 15 players for the Gilas Pilipinas pool which Chot Reyes announced on Thursday, but was curiously part of the 16 players who the PBA cleared to join the national team's practices beginning on Monday.
Intrigued, we called up the PBA Commissioner's Office and officer-in-charge Willie Marcial quickly sorted out the confusion.
According to Marcial, Reyes actually requested the availability of 14 players for the start of Gilas' Monday-only practices but, in a separate communication, named Jio Jalalon and Romeo who he qualified as 'injured.'
To play it safe, Marcial said he included both Jalalon and Romeo's names in a memorandum to the teams to get clearance for their availability in the event they become fit enough to answer a Gilas call-up.
Of the two, Jalalon may be closer to full fitness.
Romeo is set to miss his second straight game this season due to a knee injury that also kept him out of the Gilas lineup during the first window of qualifiers against Chinese-Taipei and Japan.
Batang Pier team manager Bonnie Tan confirmed that Romeo won’t see action against Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Governors Cup match-up on Sunday.
“Not yet,” Tan said in a text message on Friday afternoon.
Romeo said in early December that he will miss two months to recover from his injury, meaning he could make his return only in February deep into the eliminations.
Tan said there’s still no timetable for Romeo’s return.
“Wala pa,” the former Lyceum coach said.
The Batang Pier sorely missed Romeo’s services against the Road Warriors in a game where Stanely Pringle had to carry most of the load with 33 points, nine boards, four assists, and two steals in 41 minutes in a losing effort.
Sean Anthony chipped 19 points and nine rebounds, while Jonathan Grey and Kelly Nabong were the only other two players who scored in double figures for GlobalPort that time.