Romy dela Rosa takes pride as defensive-minded son Rome finally develops offensive game
Romy dela Rosa is proud to see Rome andn the Hotshots upset heavy favorites SMB. Jerome Ascano

IN Rome dela Rosa’s case, father’s knows best.

Romy dela Rosa finally saw in his son what he’s been preaching long time ago as the Magnolia wingman has blossomed into a reliable perimeter threat for the Hotshots, working wonders so far especially in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.

The elder Dela Rosa spoke of how he repeatedly encouraged Rome to develop his offensive game when he began playing professionally, since as he noted, the 6-foot-3 former San Beda stalwart had always been good on defense.

And he only has his father for a role model to emulate.

“Sinasabi ko sa kanya, andiyan na yung depensa mo, ang i-improve mo na lang is kung paano ka makatulong sa offense. Kasi hindi naman lahat puro depensa lang,” said the former Formula Shell and Sta. Lucia player, who is currently here in the country for a brief vacation from the US.

“Kasi ako dati hindi rin naman ako masyado sa opensa,” added dela Rosa, who played in the league from 1989-1998. “Depensa lang din ako, pero pinag aralan ko yan.”

On Friday night, Romy was a proud father at ringside of the Smart Araneta Coliseum as he watched his son frolic from the outside, scoring 11 points in helping the Hotshots pull a mighty upset over defending champion San Miguel Beermen, 105-103, in Game One of the all-Filipino finals.

The 27-year-old dela Rosa went 4-of-9 from the field, and significantly was 2-of-4 from three-point range, a fact that wasn’t lost on his father.

“Sabi ko sa kanya congratulations, kasi dati hindi naman siya nagti-three points,” noted the elder Dela Rosa, now 52 and is based in San Diego, California where Rome was born. “Andyan na yan, practice ka na lang ang lagi kong paalala sa kanya.”

But Rome, originally picked in the second round (13th overall) by Alaska in the 2014 draft, also showed his defensive side as he was tasked to take on San Miguel pesky guard Chris Ross, the two-time Finals MVP of the PBA Press Corps the last two staging of this same conference.

The two played intense against each other during the series opener that not only once, but twice did they tangle both physically and verbally.

Romy, who averaged 12.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 419 career games, was hardly bothered by the incidents, saying things such as those are all part of the game.

“Natural lang talaga yun, hindi maiiwasan. Kapag mapikon ka, talo ka,” he stressed.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

But twice did he find himself on pins and needles during the game.

First came when Rome took a bad fall early in the second quarter following a flagrant foul 1 committed by Von Pessumal.

“Buti hindi napilayan si Rome kasi mahirap yung bagsak niya. Ang taas ng binagsakan,” said dela Rosa, who came here for the graduation of his son at San Beda high.

And the second came at the height of Magnolia’s searing rally in the stretch run.

“Nakakakaba kasi nanonood ka lang e, hindi kagaya nung naglalaro ka pa, ang focus mo lang nandoon sa kalaban,” said Romy, who is set to return to the US by April 9.

“Maski ako hindi mapakali. Hindi ko alam kung uupo ako o tatayo.”  

There’s no doubt in his mind though, the game was for the Hotshots to take once they managed to overhaul a huge 20-point deficit third quarter deficit going home.

“Nung humabol na sila, sa loob ko, malaking pag-asa na manalo,” Romy said.

As they say, father knows best.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos