ANTIPOLO CITY – Winning Game One – and hopefully the semifinals series – was all that mattered for Romeo Travis.
While the Magnolia import welcomed the prospect of scoring a new PBA career-high on Saturday night, Travis said the team’s 106-98 victory over Barangay Ginebra was the more significant thing as the Hotshots take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five affair.
Travis finished with a team-high 37 points, 16 rebounds, and five assists in 44 minutes of play as he came through the clutch amid a fiery Ginebra endgame comeback at the Ynares Center.
The former high school teammate of superstar LeBron James at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio, eclipsed his previous league mark of 34 points he made while still playing for Alaska during the 2015 Governors Cup, the same time when he was named as the league’s Best Import.
But Travis said he doesn’t care about individual awards.
“I won individual awards and that doesn’t satisfy me,” he said. “It’s cool for the fans, and it’s cool for my family, they enjoy those things.
“But that doesn’t satisfy me. I’ve always been a team player. I’ve always been a role player,” he added. “So I don’t care about individual awards. I don’t care who wins it, as long as we win the championship. That’s all that really matters now.”
By winning the semis opener, the Hotshots again sparked hopes of making it back to the finals after losing to San Miguel in the title series of the season-opening Philippine Cup.
Still, Travis knows Magnola has a mountain to climb against the Kings despite holding a 1-0 lead.
“That’s where you want to be (1-0). It’s the best place we can be right now,” said the 33-year-old import.
“But we don’t want to be overconfident,” added Travis. “We wanna know that we’re back to the drawing board and start 0-0, coming in with the same hunger and same tenacity.”