Franz Pumaren proud to see Terrence Romeo evolve from 'novelty' into a complete player
Terrence Romeo works on his shot after GlobalPort practice. Karlo Sacamos

TERRENCE Romeo has been known as a prolific scorer, breaking down defenders with his killer crossovers if they stay home on him, while turning to his improved outside shot when they sag.

But the GlobalPort superstar has now proven that he’s more than just a scoring machine – and he has the stats to prove it.

While it’s no surprise that he’s leading the PBA Philippine Cup in scoring at 27 points per game, Romeo is also the tournament’s pacesetter in the assists department with 6.3 a contest through the end of the year.

The 24-year-old cager, though, insisted there was no conscious effort in wanting to lead the league in scoring and assists at the same time, saying he was merely challenged by coach Franz Pumaren to add another dimension to his game.

“Wala, wala (conscious effort),” Romeo said after practice on Wednesday. “Ang sa akin lang, kinausap ako ni coach Franz…Last time, nag-back to back ako na scoring champ, sabi sa’kin ni coach Franz na na-prove ko na I can score; kailangan ko naman gawin ay madala yung team ko.”

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Heeding his coach’s call, Romeo has become a more willing passer, steering the Batang Pier to being the last unbeaten team after two games, before they lost three of their next four outings.

Romeo now wants to take the lead as GlobalPort moves to right the ship.

“At the start of the conference, okay naman kami. Ito lang nung lately na,” Romeo said. “Hindi naman kami yung hindi namin kaya manalo. Actually, kami pa yung may control ng game. Last minute lang kami talaga natatalo.”

“Siguro nagkulang kami sa effort,” he added. “Yun na yung pinaka-puno’t dulo, kasi yung coaching staff, hindi naman sila yung naglalaro para sa amin. Kami yung nag-eeffort sa loob. Ang trabaho lang nila is talagang ihain sa amin yung game plan, so kailangan mas dagdagan pa namin yung effort namin.”

At least Pumaren can see Romeo’s effort to add a different dimension to his game.

“That shows he’s no longer a one-dimensional player,” the veteran coach said. “At the start of the season, I sat down and talked to him about his new role – he’s no longer what we classify as a novelty player like before na parang he’s there to make the fans happy and see him as a guy that can create, can shoot, make those fancy shots.”


“Now, he’s being more of an all-around player,” he added. “Even with his defense, you’ll notice a big improvement already.” 

But despite adding another weapon to his arsenal, Romeo feels incomplete.

“Isa na lang gusto kong idagdag: yung manalo kami,” Romeo said. “Kasi useless kung top scorer ka, top ka sa assists tapos talo yung team mo. Para sa akin kailangan manalo kami.”

“Actually, dapat team effort kailangan lahat, di lang dahil leader ako sa scoring at assists, kaya ko na buhatin yung team,” he added. “Kailangan ko rin yung mga kasama ko. Kailangan lahat kami mag-contribute, lahat maganda yung laruin.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos