ROMEO Travis waited for the call that didn’t come.
Three years after, he finally got a chance at redemption
Travis felt good playing in the PBA again although not in the "situation I thought it would be" as he debuted in a Magnolia Pambansang Manok uniform Wednesday night and showed he hasn’t lost a single step yet after a 102-72 win over NLEX in the Governors' Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 33-year-old former high school teammate of NBA superstar LeBron James at the St. Vincent-St. Mary came away with 21 points and 13 rebounds in the 30-point blowout of the Road Warriors which marked his first game back here since being named Best Import while playing for Alaska in the 2015 edition of the season-ending conference.
That stint with the Aces saw Travis leading the team all the way to the Finals, only to be ambushed by AZ Reid and the San Miguel Beermen via a 4-0 sweep.
Travis admitted waiting for a call-up from Alaska following that runner-up finish, but none of it came.
“When I wanted to come back, I wanted to come back with Alaska, to be honest,” Travis disclosed. “But for two years, they chose someone else when I was available.”
Under PBA rules, a team can only hold its right on an import for just one season, after which he automatically becomes a free agent.
A call did come Travis’s way, but it was from the Hotshots.
“But now I was free, I get to choose any team and coach Chito called me, and I was free,” he said of how he ended up suiting up for the Hotshots.
Travis, who is naturalized player for the Macedonia national team, did acknowledge he also had his fault for the Aces coming up short in the finals against the Beermen back then in which he beat Reid for the Best Import award.
“I didn’t’ play well when my team needed me most. And that’s pretty much why we lost,” he said.
“The way we finished when I was with Alaska in 2015 that stuck with me for many years. It still sticks with me.”
Everything now is under water under the bridge though, and knowing how good organization Magnolia is, Travis likes his chances of finally ending his unfinished business in the league three years ago.
“It’s a good situation I looked at the roster. I looked at the conference of the All-Filipino in which they reached the finals, and that shows me they have good players here,” he said.
“That’s why I wanted to comeback and fight for a championship.”