GLOBALPORT team owner Mikee Romero was recently seen inside the house of Manny Pacquiao at Forbes Park.
So why was he there?
KIA Carnival (now Mahendra Enforcers) officials have been very vocal in asking for GlobalPort’s superstar guard Terrence Romeo in exchange for one of their precious future picks, including the sought-after No. 2 pick overall and their 2016 first -round draft rights.
KIA team manager Eric Pineda claimed they have always had their sights on Romeo, one of the most popular rising stars in the PBA today.
“Kung ibibigay sa amin, why not? Kahit pick namin, no problem. Di ba?” said Pineda after emerging from the meeting with Pacquiao and Romero.
But for the good-looking Sultan 900 Incorporated chief executive, trading Romeo is out of the question.
“No way, buo na yung team ko eh. So wala akong tatanggalin o ano. Magdadagdag lang ako ng two players na kinukuha naming from free agency,” said Romero.
The outspoken team owner also insisted that Romeo, Rookie of the Year awardee Stanley Pringle and newly acquired shooting guard Joseph Yeo are the Big Three of his team.
“Sila ang buhay ng team namin. Kailangan lang namin ng bagong big man,” he said. “'Yang mga 'yan ang new triumvirate ng team na binubuo namin.”
Romero believes that Romeo has what it takes to become the next face of the league after James Yap owing to his popularity and his drawing power.
“On the rise si Terrence eh. In terms of his skills, papa-angat na siya. Popularity-wise, andun na rin 'yun. He and another star, Doug Kramer, are the two most popular players in the team. Sila ang biggest draw,” he said.
“He represents the new breed of players. Whether he becomes a James Yap or not, in terms of popularity, the fans will bring you there,” Romero said of businessman/ sportsman Nino Reyes' top talent in his SMTM stable.
“He is a player on the rise, biruin mo second season pa lang n'yan, scoring champion na. He is a player to watch out for!”
The spotsman-businessman also believes that once GlobalPort starts winning games consistently, the team has the what it takes to move up to the top four of the most popular teams in the PBA today.
“Basta makalampas lang kami ng semis, nag-number four na kami last time hindi pa kami lumampas. Makapasok lang kami sa semis, yung popularity pa ng team kasunod na 'yun,” he said. “Pag nananalo ka, dun ka sumisikat eh.”
“Yung run-and-gun ng GlobalPort ngayon, and we’re a very young team, 'yan ang nag-dra-draw ng crowd and I hope yung experience namin nung natalo kami sa Purefoods (in the last Governors Cup quarterfinals where the Batang Pier squandered twice-to-beat advantage),” added Romero.
And why was he seen meeting with Pacquiao?
Romero said it was more of a business matter, adding he's exploring a tie-up with Pacquiao who maintains several businesses down south, among them hotels and, just recently, mining.
“Business matter lang ito. Nakibarkada lang,” he said smiling.
“Walang basketball aspect yung meeting namin ni Manny,” added Romero who spent nearly three hours at Pacquiao’s residence with his most trusted staffer, PBA alternate governor Erick Arejola.
See video of interview with Romeo here: