RJ Jazul considers Terrence Romeo a 'little brother' as he quickly dispelled the notion he has a beef against the Globalport top gun following their tussle late in Game Three of the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Friday night.
Jazul obviously got the ire of Romeo in one sequence of the fourth period that led the Batang Pier star to make a second motion and, in the process, earn his second technical foul for an outright ejection.
The incident happened with 7:34 left in the match and Alaska leading, 69-58. The Aces went on to win, 82-69, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Alaska shooting guard said the commotion was no big deal.
“Sa akin wala naman. Di ko rin alam, siguro heat of the moment. Baka frustration kasi kahit paano na-stop namin siya kahit gumawa pa rin siya,” said a smiling Jazul after the Aces held the explosive GlobalPort star to just 17 points after averaging 37.5 points in the first two games of the series.
“Hindi' yun ang usual output ng game niya.”
[See Romeo admits he let emotions get the better of him]
Jazul said he has known Romeo way back during their younger days while still playing in small leagues in Cavite. It was actually him who convinced Terrence to enroll and play for Letran’s high school team.
“Nakakasama ko na siyang maglaro dati sa Cavite, kaya kinausap ko siya na maglaro na sa high school ng Letran,” he recalled. “Pero dati pa, magaling na talaga siya.”
The two of them were together at Letran - Jazul as the resident star of the seniors team under coach Louie Alas, and Romeo as a young upstart with the juniors squad that also included Kevin Alas, Roi Sumang, and Glenn Khobuntin.
“Nagkasama kami niyan sa dorm,” he said. “Kuya nga ang tawag niyan sa akin.”
And so it surprised him that Romeo reacted aggressively by giving him a bump as he was about to go down court following the physical play.
RJ was earlier whistled for an offensive foul on Romeo as the two got entangled in an arm lock following the call.
Jazul kept his cool and wanted to go over to Romeo but was prevented from going near the ejected GlobalPort standout.
“Gusto ko nga siyang puntahan, (sabihin) relax lang. Kaso na-out na siya, kaya bye-bye na lang,” said the Alaska player.
“Nagulat nga ako na ganun. Pero bata pa, e. Siguro kailangan niyang ma-experience yung ganung bagay para mag-grow siya.”
Jazul said there was nothing really into it other than the crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena magnifying it especially when Romeo was tossed out.
“Napalaki lang ng crowd, sigawan di ba,” he said. “Pero okay lang, at least merong konting spice.”
Game Four of the series is set on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.